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3Fort\>*one JJ?ears in 5nbia 


First Edition {before publication). January 2, 1897. 

Second Edition {before publication). January 2, 1897. 

United States Edition. January 4, 1897. 

Indian Edition. January 4, 1897. 

Third Edition. January 4, 1897. 

Fourth Edition. January 4, 1897. 

Fifth Edition. January 14, 1897. 

Sixth Edition. January 16, 1897. 

Seventh Edition. January 21, 1897. 

Eighth Edition. January 27, 1897. 

Ninth Edition. February 3, 1897. 

Tenth Edition. February 8, 1897. 

Eleventh Edition. February 12, 1897. 

Twelfth Edition. February 17, 1897. 

Thirteenth Edition. February 23, 1897. 

Fourteenth Edition. February 26, 1897. 

Fifteenth Edition. March 8, 1897. 

Sixteenth Edition. March 18, 1897. 

Seventeenth Edition. April 6, 1897. 

Eighteenth Edition. April 28, 1897. 

Nineteenth Edition. May 31, 1897. 

Twentieth Edition. Jiily 7, 1897. 

A Braille type edition for the blind. {In the Press. ) 



2™ D DECEMBER 1878 

Son: 1897 

Forty-one Years in India-'-." 

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The Umbeyla expedition — The Akhund of Swat — The ' Eagle's 
Nest ' and ' Crag piquet ' — The death of Lord Elgin — Loyalty 
of our Pathan soldiers — Bunerwals show signs of submission 
— The conical hill — Umbeyla in flames — Bunerwals agree to 
our terms — Malka destroyed ----- 1-22 


A voyage round the Cape — Cholera camps — The Abyssinian 

expedition — Landed at Zula ----- 23-31 


Sir Robert Napier to command — Defective transport — King 
Theodore commits suicide — First A.Q.M.G. - - - 32-40 


Afzal Khan ousts Sher Ali — Sher Ali regains the Amirship — 
Foresight of Sir Henry Rawlinson — The Umballa Durbar - 41-50 


The Lushais — The Lushai expedition — Defective transport again 
— Practice versus theory — A severe march — Lushais foiled by 
Gurkhas — A successful turning movement — Murder of Lord 
Mayo -------- 51.68 


Lord Napier's care for the soldier — Negotiations with Sher Ali 

renewed — Sher Ali's demands ----- 69-76 




A trip in the Himalayas — The famine in Behar — The Prince of 
Wales in India — Farewell to Lord Napier - - - 77-85 


Lord Lytton becomes Viceroy — Difficulties with Sher Ali — 
Imperial assemblage at Delhi — Reception of the ruling Chiefs 
— Queen proclaimed Empress of India — Political importance 
of the assemblage — Sher Ali proclaims a ' Jahad ' — A journey 
under difficulties - - - - - 86-102 


Object of the first Afghan war — Excitement caused by Russia's 
advances ------ 103-108 


Effect of the Berlin Treaty at Kabul — Sher Ali decides against 
England — A meeting of portentous moment — Preparations for 
war— Letter from Sher Ali - - - - 109-120 


Shortcomings of my column — Attitude of the Border tribes 121-126 


The Kuram valley — Conflicting news of the enemy — An appa- 
rently impregnable position — Spiugawi route decided on — 
Disposition of the force — A night attack — Advantages of a 
night attack — Devotion of my orderlies — Threatening the 
enemy's rear — The Peiwar Kotal - - - 127-148 


Alikhel — Treachery of the tribesmen — Transport difficulties — 
Sher Ali looks to Russia for aid— Khost — An attack on our 
camp — An unsuccessful experiment — An unpleasant incident 
—Punjab Chiefs' Contingent .... 149-167 


Sher Ali's death — Premature negotiations — The treaty of Ganda- 
mak — Making friends with the tribesmen — Gloomy fore- 
bodings — Good-bye to Cavagnari - - - 168-180 




Massacre of the Embassy — The Kabul Field Force — Lord 
Lytton's foresightedness — Start for Kabul — Letter to the 
Amir — Proclamation to the people of Kabul— Yakub Khan's 
agents — Reasons for remaining at Alikhel - - 181-198 


Hector Macdonald and Sher Mahomed — Yakub Khan — A Pro- 
clamation and an Order — The maliks of Logar — Attack on 
the Shutargardan — Reconnoitring roads leading to Kabul 199-212' 


The Afghan position — The fight at Charasia — Highlanders, 
Gurkhas, and Punjabis — Defeat of the Afghans — Kabul in 
sight — Deh-i-Mazang gorge — The enemy give us the slip 213-228 


Guiding instructions — Visit to the Bala Hissar — Yakub Khan 
abdicates — The Proclamation — Administrative measures — 
Explosions in the Bala Hissar - - - 229-242 


Afghans afraid to befriend us — Kabul Russianized — Yakub 

Khan's abdication accepted — State treasury taken over 243-252 


The amnesty Proclamation — Strength of the Kabul Field Force 

— Yakub Khan despatched to India - - - 253-259 


Political situation at Kabul — Serious trouble ahead — Macpherson 
attacks the Kohistanis — Combined movements — The un- 
certainty of war — The fight in the Chardeh valley — Forced to 
retire — Padre Adams earns the V.C. — Macpherson's column 
arrives — The captured guns recovered — Melancholy re- 
flections ...... 260-281 


Attack on the Takht-i-Shah — City people join the tribesmen — 
Increasing numbers of the enemy — Loss of the conical hill — 
Captain Vousden's gallantry — The retirement to Sherpur 282-294 




Sherpur — Defence of Sherpur — Arrest of Daud Shah — Rumours 
of an assault — Attack and counter-attack — Communication 
with India re-opened — Sherpur made safe - - 295-309 


Two important questions— A Ruler required— News of Abdur 
Rahman Khan — Abdur Rahman in Afghan-Turkestan — Over- 
tures made to Abdur Rahman ... 310-320 


Jenkins attacked near Charasia — Sir Donald Stewart reaches 
Kabul — Difficulties with Abdur Rahman — Abdur Rahman 
proclaimed Amir - 321-330 


Affairs at Kandahar — The Maiwand disaster— Relief from Kabul 
suggested — A force ordered from Kabul— Preparations for the 
march — The Kabul- Kandahar Field Force — Commissariat 
and Transport -.---- 331-346 


The order of marching — Ghazni and Kelat-i-Ghilzai — Food re- 
quired daily for the force — A letter from General Phayre — 
Kandahar — Reconnoitring the enemy's position — A turning 
movement -._.-. 347-361 


Commencement of the fight — 72nd Highlanders and 2nd Sikhs 
— 92nd Highlanders and 2nd Gurkhas — Ayub Khan's camp — 
Difficulties about supplies — Parting with the troops — A pleasing 
memory ...... 362-375 


Reception in England — A fruitless journey — Andaman Isles 
and Burma — The Madras Army — Measures for improving 
Madras Army — Memories of Madras — An allegory - 376-389 


Disturbing action of Russia — Abdur Rahman Khan — The Rawal 
Pindi Durbar — Unmistakable loyalty of the Natives - 390-397 




The Burma expedition — The Camp of Exercise at Delhi — De- 
fence of the North-West Frontier — Quetta and Peshawar — 
Communications versus fortifications — Sir George Chesney 398-409 


Nursing for the soldier — Pacification of Burma considered — 
Measures recommended — The Buddhist priesthood — The 
Regimental Institute — The Army Temperance Association 410-421 


Defence and Mobilization Committees — The Transport Depart- 
ment — Utilization of Native States' armies — Marquis of Lans- 
downe becomes Viceroy — Rajputana and Kashmir — Musketry 
instruction— Artillery and Cavalry training - - 422-436 


Extension of command — Efficiency of the Native Army — Con- 
cessions to the Native Army — Officering of the Native Army 
— The Hunza-Naga campaign — Visit to Nepal — A Nepalese 
entertainment — Proposed mission to the Amir — A last tour — 
Farewell entertainments — Last days in India - 437-460 

Appendix ...... 461-509 

Index ------ 510-522 



The Attack on the Peiwar Kotal. (From a Painting 

by Vereker Hamilton) - Frontispiece 

The Advance on the Peiwar Kotal Woodcut on title-page 

Portrait op Field-Marshal Lord Eoberts on his 
Arab Charger ' Vonolel.' (From an Oil-painting 
by C. Furse, made from an Instantaneous Photo- 
graph) ----- To face page 1 

The Storming of the Conical Hill at Umbeyla 
by the 101st Foot (Bengal Fusiliers). (From a 
Sketch by General Sir John Adye, G.G.B., B.A.) 

To face page 15 

Portrait of Field-Marshal Lord Napier of Magdala, 

G.C.B., G.C.S.I. - - - To face page 85 

General Eoberts's Gurkha Orderlies. (Engraved 
on wood from a Water-colour Sketch by Colonel 
Woodthorpe, C.B.,B.E.) - - To face page 142 

General Eoberts's Sikh Orderlies. (Engraved on 
wood from a Water-colour Sketch by Colonel Wood- 
thorpe, C.B., B.E.) - - - To face page 144 

General Eoberts's Pathan Orderlies. (Engraved on 
wood from a Water-colour Sketch by Colonel Wood- 
thorpe, C.B., RE.) - - - To face page 146 


The Entrance to the Bala Hissar — The Lahore 
Gate at Kabul. (Engraved on wood from a 
Photograph) - - - To face page 232 

Sketch showing the Operations in the Chardeh 
Valley on December 10th and 11th, 1879 

To face page 278 
Plan to illustrate the Defences of Sherpur and 
the Operations round Kabul in December, 1879 

To face page 306 
Crossing the Zamburak Kotal. (Engraved on wood 
from a Painting by the Chevalier Desanges) 

To face page 350 
Plan of the Eoute taken from Kabul to Kandahar 

To face page 356 
Sketch of the Battle-field of Kandahar 

To face page 368 
Portraits of the Three Commanders-in-Chief (Sir 
Donald Stewart, Sir Frederick Roberts, and 
Sir Arthur Hardinge) - - To face page 385 

Portrait of His Highness Abdur Rahman, Amir of 
Afghanistan. (Engraved upon steel by W. Boffe 
from a Photograph) - - -To face page 393 

Map of Central Asia - - To face page 396 

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Decorated by Special Permission of Her Majesty the 

Queen with the Kabul Medal with four Clasps, 

and the Kabul-Kandahar Star. 






In the autumn of 1863, while we were preparing for 
the usual winter tour, Sir Hugh Eose, who had accom- 
panied Lord Elgin on a trip through the hills, telegraphed 
to the Head-Quarters staff to join him at Mian Mir without 

The news which greeted us on our arrival was indeed 
disturbing. Lord Elgin was at Dharmsala in a dying 
condition, and the Chief had been obliged to leave him and 
push on to Lahore, in consequence of unsatisfactory reports 
from Brigadier-General Chamberlain, who was just then 
commanding an expedition which had been sent into the 
mountains near Peshawar, and had met with unexpected 
opposition. The civil authorities on the spot reported 
that there existed a great deal of excitement all along 
the border, that the tribes were collecting in large 
numbers, that emissaries from Kabul had appeared 
amongst them, and that, unless reinforcements could be 
sent up at once, the Government would be involved in a 
war which must inevitably lead to the most serious com- 
plications, not only on the frontier, but with Afghanistan. 

vol. ii. 33 


In so grave a light did the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir 
Kobert Montgomery, view the position, that he contem- 
plated the force being withdrawn and the undertaking 

Sir Hugh had had nothing to do with the despatch of this 
expedition ; it had been decided on by the Government of 
India in consultation with the Lieutenant-Governor of the 
Punjab. When the Commander-in-Chief was communi- 
cated with, he expressed himself adverse to the proposal, 
and placed his views at length before the Government, 
pointing out the inexpediency of entering a difficult and 
unknown country, unless the troops were properly 
equipped with transport, supplies, and reserve ammu- 
nition ; that time did not permit of their being so 
equipped before the winter set in ; and that, to provide a 
force of 5,000 men (the strength considered necessary by 
the Government), the frontier would have to be dangerously 
weakened. Moreover, he gave it as his opinion that it 
would be better to postpone operations until the spring, 
when everything could be perfectly arranged. Subsequent 
events proved how sound was this advice. But before 
proceeding with my narrative it will be as well to 
explain the circumstances which led the authorities to 
undertake this expedition. 

In 1857, when all our resources were required to quell 
internal tumult, the Hindustani fanatics* took the oppor- 

* In 1825 a religious adventurer from Bareilly made his appearance 
on the Yusafzai frontier with about forty Hindustani followers, and 
gave out that he was a man of superior sanctity, and had a divine 
command to wage a war of extermination, with the aid of all true 
believers, against the infidel. After studying Arabic at Delhi, he 
proceeded to Mecca by way of Calcutta, and during this journey his 


tunity to stir up disturbances all along the Yusaf zai frontier 
of the Peshawar district, and, aided by the rebel sepoys who 
had fled to them for protection, they made raids upon our 
border, and committed all kinds of atrocities. "We were 
obliged, therefore, to send an expedition against them in 
1858, which resulted in their being driven from their 
stronghold, Sitana, and in the neighbouring tribes being 
bound down to prevent their re-occupying that place. Three 
years later the fanatics returned to their former haunts and 
built up a new settlement at Malka ; the old troubles re- 
commenced, and for two years they had been allowed to 
go on raiding, murdering, and attacking our outposts with 
impunity. It was, therefore, quite time that measures 
should be taken to effectually rid the frontier of these 
disturbers of the peace, provided such measures could 
have been decided upon early enough in the year to 
ensure success. 

The Punjab Government advocated the despatch of a very 
strong force. Accordingly, two columns were employed, 
. the base of one being in the Peshawar valley, and that of 
the other in Hazara. The Peshawar column was to move 
by the Umbeyla Pass, the Buner frontier, and the Chamla 
valley, thus operating on the enemy's line of retreat. This 
route would not have been chosen, had not Chamberlain 
been assured by the civil authorities that no hostility need 

doctrines had obtained so great an ascendency over the minds of the 
Mahomedans of Bengal that they have ever since supplied the colony 
which Syad Ahmed Shah founded in Yusafzai with money and recruits. 
The Syad was eventually slain fighting against the Sikhs, but his 
followers established themselves at Sitana, and in the neighbourhood 
of that place they continue to flourish, notwithstanding that we have 
destroyed their settlements more than once during the last forty years. 


be feared from the Bunerwals, even if their country had to 
be entered, as they had given no trouble for fifteen years, 
and their spiritual head, the Akhund of Swat,* had no 
sympathy with the fanatics. It was not, therefore, con- 
sidered necessary to warn the Buner people of our approach 
until preparations were completed ; indeed, it was thought 
unadvisable to do so, as it was important to keep the 
proposed line of advance secret. The strength of the force 
was 6,000 men, with 19 guns, but to make up these 
numbers the stations in Upper India had to be considerably 
weakened, and there was no reserve nearer than Lahore. 

The Peshawar column t being all ready for a start, a 
Proclamation was forwarded to the Buner and other neigh- 
bouring tribes, informing them of the object of the expedition, 
and stating that there was no intention of interfering with 
them or their possessions. 

On the following morning, the 20th October, the Umbeyla 
Pass was entered, and by noon the kotall was reached 

* The Akhund of Swat was a man of seventy years of age at the 
time of the Umbeyla expedition; he had led a holy life, and had gained 
such an influence over the minds of Mahomedans in general, that 
they believed he was supplied by supernatural means with the 
necessaries of life, and that every morning, on rising from his prayers, 
a sum of money sufficient for the day's expenditure was found under 
his praying carpet. 

f The Peshawar column consisted of half of 19th Company Royal 
Artillery, No. 3 Punjab Light Field Battery, the Peshawar and Hazara 
Mountain Batteries, the 71st and 101st Foot, the Guides, one troop 11th 
Bengal Lancers, one company Bengal Sappers and Miners, 14th Sikhs, 
20th Punjab Infantry, 32nd Pioneers, 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th Punjab 
Infantry, and 5th Gurkhas. The Hazara column consisted of a wing 
of the 51st Foot, 300 Native Cavalry, a regiment of Native Infantry 
and eight guns, holding Darband, Torbela, and Topi on the Indus. 

| The highest point of a pass crossing a mountain range. 


without any resistance to speak of ; but, from information 
brought in, it was evident that any further advance would 
be stoutly opposed. The road turned out to be much more 
difficult than had been anticipated, and the hurriedly 
collected transport proved unequal to the strain. Not a 
single baggage animal, except the ammunition mules, got 
up that night; indeed, it was not until the morning of 
the 22nd — more than forty-eight hours after they started 
— that the rear guard reached the kotal, a distance of only 
six miles. As soon as it arrived Colonel Alex. Taylor, E.E., 
was sent off with a body of Cavalry, under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Probyn, to reconnoitre the road in front. The 
delay in reaching the top of the pass had given the tribes 
time to collect, and when the reconnoitring party entered 
the Chamla valley the Bunerwals could be seen about two 
miles and a half off, occupying in force the range which 
separates Buner from Chamla. Whatever may have been 
their first intention, they apparently could not resist the 
temptation to try and cut off this small body of Cavalry, 
for our horsemen on their return journey found a large 
number of the trusted Buner tribe attempting to block the 
mouth of the pass. A charge was made, but mounted men 
could not do much in such a hilly country ; the proceedings 
of the Bunerwals, however, had been observed from the 
kotal, and Major Brownlow,* with some of his own regiment 
(the 20th Punjab Infantry), was sent to the assistance of 
the party. A hand-to-hand fight ensued, and the enemy 
pressed our troops closely on their way back, coming right 
in amongst them with the utmost daring. 

* Now General Sir Charles Brownlow, G.C.B. 


There was now brought in to the Commissioner by a spy 
the copy of a letter from the Hindustani fanatics, addressed 
to the Bunerwals, telling them not to be taken in by our 
assurances that our only object was to punish the fanatics, 
for our real intentions were to annex Chamla, Buner, and 
Swat. This letter no doubt aroused the suspicions of the 
tribes, and, encouraged by the slowness of our movements, 
they all joined against us from Buner, Mahaban, and the 
Black Mountain. 

On the 23rd large bodies of men with numerous standards 
were to be seen approaching the mouth of the pass, and a 
day or two later a report was received that our foes were to 
have the support of the Akhund of Swat, which meant a 
most formidable accession of moral as well as material 
strength, and put a stop, for the time being, to any possi- 
bility of a successful advance being made with the force 
at Chamberlain's disposal. 

The position occupied by our troops was enclosed on 
the left (west) by the Guru Mountain, which separates 
Umbeyla from Buner, and on the right (east) by a range of 
hills, not quite so high. The main piquet on the Guru 
occupied a position above some precipitous cliffs known as 
the Eagle's Nest, while that on the right was designated 
the ' Crag piquet.' The Eagle's Nest was only large 
enough to accommodate 110 men, so 120 more were placed 
under the shelter of some rocks at its base, and the 
remainder of the troops told off for the defence of the left 
piquet were drawn up on and about a rocky knoll, 400 feet 
west of the Eagle's Nest. 

Some 2,000 of the enemy occupied a breastwork on the 
crest of a spur of the Guru Mountain ; and about noon on 


the 26th they moved down, and with loud shouts attacked 
the Eagle's Nest. Their matchlock men posted themselves 
to the greatest advantage in a wood, and opened a galling 
fire upon our defences, while their swordsmen made a 
determined advance. The nature of the ground prevented 
our guns from being brought to bear upon the assailants, 
and they were thus able to get across the open space 
in front of the piquet, and plant their standards close 
under its parapet. For some considerable time they re- 
mained in this position, all our efforts to dislodge them 
proving of no avail. Eventually, however, they were forced 
to give way and were driven up the hill, leaving the ground 
covered with their dead, and a great many wounded, who 
were taken into our hospitals and carefully treated, while a 
still greater number were carried off by their friends. Our 
losses were, 2 British officers, 1 Native officer, and 26 men 
killed ; and 2 British officers, 7 Native officers, and 86 men 

The day following the fight the Bunerwals were told they 
might carry away their dead, and we took advantage of 
their acceptance of this permission to reason with them as 
to the uselessness of an unnecessary sacrifice of their tribes- 
men, which would be the certain result of further oppo- 
sition to us. Their demeanour was courteous, and they 
conversed freely with General Chamberlain and Colonel 
Keynell Taylor, the Commissioner, but they made it 
evident that they were determined not to give in. 

Our position had now become rather awkward ; there 
was a combination against us of all the tribes between the 
Indus and the Kabul rivers, and their numbers could not 
be less than 15,000 armed men. Mutual animosities were 


for the time allowed to remain in abeyance, and the tribes 
all flocked to fight under the Akhund's standard in the 
interests of their common faith. Moreover, there was 
trouble in the rear from the people along the Yusafzai 
border, who assisted the enemy by worrying our lines of 
communication. Under these changed conditions, and with 
such an inadequate force, Chamberlain came to the con- 
clusion that, for the moment, he could only remain on the 
defensive, and trust to time, to the discouragement which 
repeated unsuccessful attacks were sure to produce on the 
enemy, and to the gradual decrease of their numbers, to 
break up the combination against us ; for, as these tribes- 
men only bring with them the quantity of food they are 
able to carry, as soon as it is finished they are bound to 
suspend operations till more can be procured. 

For three weeks almost daily attacks were made on our 
position ; the enemy fought magnificently, some of them 
being killed inside our batteries, and twice they gained 
possession of the ' Crag piquet,' the key of the position, 
which it was essential should be retaken at all hazards. 
On the second occasion General Chamberlain himself led 
the attacking party, and was so severely wounded that he 
was obliged to relinquish the command of the force. 

The Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, being convinced 
that reinforcements were necessary, in consultation with 
Colonels Durand* and Norman (the Foreign and Military 
Secretaries, who had come to Lahore to meet the Viceroy), 
and without waiting for the sanction of the Commander-in- 
Chief, ordered to the frontier the three regiments which had 

* The late Sir Henry Marion Durand, K.C.S.I., C.B., afterwards 
Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab. 


been detailed for the Viceroy's camp,* as well as the 93rd 
Highlanders, then at Sialkot ; and when Sir Hugh Rose 
on his arrival at Lahore heard of the heavy losses the 
expeditionary force had sustained, and of General Chamber- 
lain being hors de combat from his wound, further rein- 
forcements from every direction were hurried to the front. 
Subsequently, however, it became a question whether the 
troops should not be withdrawn altogether, and the punish- 
ment of the fanatics given up, the Government of India 
and the Punjab Government being completely in accord in 
favouring this view, while the Commissioner of Peshawar, 
Major James (who had succeeded Eeynell Taylor),! and Sir 
Hugh Rose were as strongly opposed to a retrograde 
movement. The Commander-in-Chief pointed out to the 
Government that the loss of prestige and power we must 
sustain by retiring from the Umbeyla Pass would be more 
disastrous, both from a military and political point of view, 
than anything that could happen save the destruction of 
the force itself, and that General Chamberlain, on whose 
sound judgment he could rely, was quite sure that a re- 
tirement was unnecessary. 

Unfortunately at this time the Viceroy died at Dharmsala, 
and the question remained in abeyance pending the arrival 
of Sir William Denison, Governor of Madras, who was 
coming round to take over the reins of Government until a 
successor to Lord Elgin should be sent from England. 

In the meantime Sir Hugh Rose was most anxious to 
obtain exact information respecting our position at Umbeyla, 

* 7th Koyal Fusiliers, 23rd Pioneers, and 24th Punjab Native 

f Eeynell Taylor remained with the force as political officer. 


the means of operating from it, the nature of the ground 
— in fact, all details which could only be satisfactorily 
obtained by sending someone to report on the situation, 
with whom he had had personal communication regarding 
the points about which he required to be enlightened. He 
therefore determined to despatch two officers on special 
service, whose duty it would be to put the Commander-in- 
Chief in possession of all the facts of the case ; accord- 
ingly, Colonel Adye* (Deputy- Adjutant-General of Eoyal 
Artillery) and I were ordered to proceed to Umbeyla without 

Adye proved a most charming travelling companion, 
clever and entertaining, and I think we both enjoyed our 
journey. We reached the pass on the 25th November. 

There had been no fighting for some days, and most of 
the wounded had been removed. Sir Neville Chamber- 
lain was still in camp, and I was sorry to find him suffer- 
ing greatly from his wound. We were much interested in 
going over the piquets and listening to the story of the 
different attacks made upon them, which had evidently 
been conducted by the enemy with as much skill as 
courage, f The loyalty of our Native soldiers struck me as 

* General Sir John Adye, G.C.B. 

f The expedition was an admirable school for training men in outpost 
duty. The Pathans and Gurkhas were quite at home at such work, 
and not only able to take care of themselves, but when stalked by the 
enemy were equal to a counter-stalk, often most successful. The enemy 
used to joke with Brownlow's and Keyes's men on these occasions, and 
say, ' We don't want you. Where are the led pagriwalas ? [as the 
14th Sikhs were called from their led pagris (red turbans)] or the gora- 
log [the Europeans] ? They are better shikar [sport] !' The tribes- 
men soon discovered that the Sikhs and Europeans, though full of 
fight, were very helpless on the hill-side, and could not keep their heads 
under cover. 


having been most remarkable. Not a single desertion had 
occurred, although all the Native regiments engaged, with 
the exception of the Gurkhas and Punjab Pioneers, had 
amongst them members of the several tribes we were fight- 
ing, and many of our soldiers were even closely related 
to some of the hostile tribesmen ; on one occasion a young 
Buner sepoy actually recognized his own father amongst 
the enemy's dead when the fight was over.* 

We listened to many tales of the gallantry of the British 
officers. The names of Brownlow, Keyes,t and Hughes [ 
were on everyone's lips, and Brownlow's defence of the 
Eagle's Nest on the 26th October, and of the ' Crag piquet ' 
on the 12th November, spoke volumes for his coolness and 
pluck, and for the implicit faith reposed in him by the 
men of the 20th Punjab Infantry, the regiment he had 
raised in 1857 when but a subaltern. In his official 
report the General remarked that 'to Major Brownlow's 
determination and personal example he attributed the pre- 
servation of the " Crag piquet." ' And Keyes's recapture 

* Colonel Eeynell Taylor, whilst bearing like testimony to the good 
conduct of the Pathan soldiery, said the personal influence of officers 
will always be found to be the only stand-by for the Government 
interests when the religious cry is raised, and the fidelity of our troops 
is being tampered with. Pay, pensions, and orders of merit may, and 
would be, cast to the winds when the honour of the faith was in the 
scale ; but to snap the associations of years, and to turn in his hour of 
need against the man whom he has proved to be just and worthy, 
whom he has noted in the hour of danger, and praised as a hero to his 
family, is just what a Pathan will not do— to his honour be it said. 
The fact was that the officers in camp had been so long and kindly 
associated with their soldiers that the latter were willing to set them 
before their great religious teacher, the Akhund of Swat (' Eecords of 
Expeditions against the North- West Frontier Tribes '). 

f The late General Sir Charles Keyes, G.C.B. 

| The late Major-General T. E. Hughes, C.B., Eoyal Artillery. 


of the same piquet was described by Sir Neville as ' a 
most brilliant exploit, stamping Major Keyes as an officer 
possessing some of the highest military qualifications.' 
Brownlow and Keyes were both recommended for the 
Victoria Cross. 

We (Adye and I) had no difficulty in making up our 
minds as to the course which ought to be taken. The 
column was daily being strengthened by the arrival of rein- 
forcements, and although the combination of the tribes- 
men was still formidable, the enemy were showing signs of 
being disheartened by their many losses, and of a wish to 
come to terms. 

Having consulted the civil and military authorities on 
the spot, we informed the Commander-in-Chief that they 
were of opinion a withdrawal would be most unwise, and 
that it was hoped that on the arrival of General Garvock 
(Chamberlain's successor) an advance would be made into 
the Chamla valley, for there would then be a sufficient 
number of troops to undertake an onward move, as well as 
to hold the present position, which, as we told the Chief, 
was one of the strongest we had ever seen. 

Sir William Denison reached Calcutta on the 2nd 
December. A careful study of the correspondence in con- 
nexion with the Umbeyla expedition satisfied him that the 
Commander-in-Chief's views were correct, and that a 
retirement would be unwise. 

Sir Hugh Eose had previously requested to be allowed to 
personally conduct the operations, and in anticipation of 
the Government acceding to his request, he had sent a 
light camp to Hasan Abdal, from which place he intended 
to push on to Umbeyla ; and with the object of collecting 


troops near the frontier, where they would be available as 
a reserve should the expedition not be soon and satis- 
factorily settled, he desired me to select an encamping- 
ground between Kawal Pindi and Attock suitable for 
10,000 men. 

Leaving Adye in the pass, I started for Attock, where I 
spent three days riding about in search of a promising site 
for the camp. I settled upon a place near Hasan Abdal, 
which, however, was not in the end made use of. The 
people of the country were very helpful to me ; indeed, 
when they heard I had been a friend of John Nicholson, 
they seemed to think they could not do enough for me, 
and delighted in talking of their old leader, whom they 
declared to be the greatest man they had ever known. 

On my return I marched up the pass with the Eev. W. 
G. Cowie* and Probyn, who, with 400 Cavalry, had been 
ordered to the front to be in readiness for a move into 
the Chamla valley. James, the Commissioner, had been 
working to detach the Bunerwals from the combination 
against us, and on the afternoon of our arrival a depu- 
tation of their headmen arrived in camp, and before their 
departure the next morning they promised to accompany a 
force proceeding to destroy Malka, and to expel the Hindu- 
stani fanatics from the Buner country. Later, however, a 
messenger came in to say they could not fulfil their 
promise, being unable to resist the pressure brought to 
bear upon them by their co-religionists. The man further 
reported that large numbers of fresh tribesmen had 
appeared on the scene, and that it was intended to attack 
us on the 16th. He advised the Commissioner to take the 
* Now Bishop of Auckland and Primate of New Zealand. 


initiative, and gave him to understand that if we advanced 
the Bunerwals would stand aloof. 

Sir Hugh Eose had been accorded permission to take 
command of the troops in the field, and had sent word to 
General Garvock not ' to attempt any operations until 
further orders.' James, however, thinking that the situa- 
tion demanded immediate action, as disturbances had 
broken out in other parts of the Peshawar valley, deprecated 
delay, and pressed Garvock to advance, telling him that a 
successful fight would put matters straight. Garvock con- 
sented to follow the Commissioner's advice, and arranged 
to move on the following day. 

The force was divided into three columns. The first and 
second — consisting of about 4,800 men, and commanded 
respectively by Colonel W. Turner, C.B.,* and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Wilde, C.B. — were to form the attacking party, 
while the third, about 3,000 strong, under the command of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Vaughan,t was to be left for the pro- 
tection of the camp. 

At daybreak, on the 15th, the troops for the advance, 
unencumbered by tents or baggage, and each man carrying 
two days' rations, assembled at the base of the ' Crag 
piquet.' Turner, an excellent officer, who during the short 
time he had been at Umbeyla had inspired great confidence 
by his soldierly qualities, had on the previous after- 
noon reconnoitred to the right of the camp, and had dis- 
covered that about 4,000 men were holding the village of 
Lalu, from which it was necessary to dislodge them before 
Umbeyla could be attacked. On being told to advance, 

* The late Brigadier-General Sir W. W. Turner, K.C.B. 
f General Sir T. L. Vaughan, K.C.B. 



II. »•• 


therefore, Turner moved off in the direction of Lalu, and, 
driving the enemy's piquets before him, occupied the heights 
overlooking the valley, out of which rose, immediately in 
front about 200 yards off, a conical hill which hid Lalu 
from view. This hill, which was crowded with Hindustani 
fanatics and their Pathan allies, was a most formidable 
position ; the sides were precipitous, and the summit was 
strengthened by sangars.* No further move could be 
made until the enemy were dislodged, so Turner lined 
the heights all round with his Infantry, and opened fire 
with his Mountain guns. Meanwhile, Wilde's column had 
cleared off the enemy from the front of the camp, and 
formed up on Turner's left. On the advance being sounded, 
Turner's Infantry rushed down the slopes, and in ten 
minutes could be seen driving the enemy from the heights 
on his right ; at the same time the 101st Fusiliers, the 
leading regiment of Wilde's column, made straight for the 
top of the conical hill, and, under cover of the fire from 
the Mountain guns of both columns, and supported by the 
Guides and 23rd Pioneers, they climbed the almost perpen- 
dicular sides. When near the top a short halt was made 
to give the men time to get their breath ; the signal being 
then given, amidst a shower of bullets and huge stones, 
the position was stormed, and carried at the point 
of the bayonet. It was a grand sight as Adye and 
I watched it from Hughes's battery ; but we were con- 
siderably relieved when we perceived the enemy flying 
down the sides of the hill, and heard the cheers of the 
gallant Fusiliers as they stood victorious on the highest peak. 

* Stone breastworks. 


Now that the enemy were on the run it was the time to 
press them, and this Turner did so effectually that the 
leading men of his column entered Lalu simultaneously 
with the last of the fugitives. The rapidity of this move- 
ment was so unexpected that it threw the enemy inside the 
walls into confusion ; they made no stand, and were soon 
in full retreat towards Umbeyla and the passes leading into 

While affairs were thus prospering on our right, the 
enemy, apparently imagining we were too busy to think 
of our left, came in large numbers from the village of 
Umbeyla, threatening the camp and the communications 
of the second column. Wilde, however, was prepared for 
them, and held his ground until reinforced by Turner, 
when he made a forward movement. The Guides, and 
detachments of the 5th Gurkhas and 3rd Sikhs, charged 
down one spur, and the 101st down another ; the enemy 
were driven off with great slaughter, leaving a standard in 
the hands of the Gurkhas, and exposing themselves in their 
flight to Turner's guns. During the day they returned, 
and, gathering on the heights, made several unsuccessful 
attacks upon our camp. At last, about 2 p.m., Brownlow, 
who was in command of the right defences, assumed the 
offensive, and, aided by Keyes, moved out of the breast- 
works and, by a succession of well-executed charges, com- 
pletely cleared the whole front of the position, and drove 
the tribesmen with great loss into the plain below. 

All opposition having now ceased, and the foe being in 
full retreat, the force bivouacked for the night. We had 
16 killed and 67 wounded ; while our opponents admitted 
to 400 killed and wounded. 


The next morning we were joined by Probyn with 
200 sabres of the 11th Bengal Lancers and the same 
number of the Guides ; and after a hasty breakfast the 
order was given to march into the Chamla valley. My 
duty was to accompany the Mountain batteries and show 
them the way. As we debouched into comparatively open 
country, the enemy appeared on a ridge which completely 
covered our approach to Umbeyla, and we could descry 
many standards flying on the most prominent points. 
The road was so extremely difficult that it was half- 
past two o'clock before the whole force was clear of the 

General Garvock, having made a careful reconnaissance 
of the enemy's position, which was of great strength and 
peculiarly capable of defence, had decided to turn their 
right, a movement which was to be entrusted to the second 
column, and I was told to inform Turner that he must 
try and cut them off from the Buner Pass as they re- 
treated. I found Turner close to Umbeyla and delivered 
my message. He moved forward at once with the 23rd 
Pioneers and a wing of the 32nd Pioneers in line, sup- 
ported by the second wing, having in reserve a wing of 
+he 7th Boyal Fusiliers. 

When we had passed the village of Umbeyla, which 
was in flames, having been set fire to by our Cavalry, the 
wing of the 32nd was brought up in prolongation of our 
line to the right. The advance was continued to within 
about 800 yards of the Buner Pass, when Turner, observing 
a large body of the enemy threatening his left flank, imme- 
diately sent two companies of the Koyal Fusiliers in that 
direction. Just at that moment a band of Ghazis furiously 

vol. ii. 34 


attacked the left flank, which was at a disadvantage, having 
got into broken ground covered with low jungle. In a few 
seconds five of the Pioneer British officers were on the 
ground, one killed and four wounded ; numbers of the men 
were knocked over, and the rest, staggered by the sudden- 
ness of the onslaught, fell back on their reserve, where 
they found the needed support, for the Fusiliers stood as 
firm as a rock. At the critical moment when the Ghazis 
made their charge, Wright, the Assistant- Adjutant-General, 
and I, being close by, rushed in amongst the Pioneers and 
called on them to follow us ; as we were personally known 
to the men of both regiments, they quickly pulled them- 
selves together and responded to our efforts to rally them. 
It was lucky they did so, for had there been any delay or 
hesitation, the enemy, who thronged the slopes above us, 
would certainly have come down in great numbers, and 
we should have had a most difficult task. As it was, we 
were entirely successful in repulsing thp Ghazis, not a man 
of whom escaped. We counted 200 of the enemy killed; our 
losses were comparatively slight — 8 killed and 80 wounded. 

We bivouacked for the night near the village of Umbeyla, 
and the next morning the Bunerwals, who, true to their 
word, had taken no part in the fighting on the 15th or 16th, 
came in and made their submission. 

The question which now had to be decided was, whether 
a force fully equipped and strong enough to overcome all 
opposition should be sent to destroy the fanatic settlement 
of Malka, or whether the work of annihilation should be 
entrusted to the Bunerwals, witnessed by British officers. 
The latter course was eventually adopted, chiefly on account 
of the delay which provisioning a brigade would entail — a 


delay which the Commissioner was anxious to avoid — for 
although for the present the combination had broken up, 
and most of the tribesmen were dispersing to their homes, 
the Akhund of Swat and his followers were still hovering 
about in the neighbourhood, and inaction on our part 
would in all probability have led to a fresh gathering 
and renewed hostilities. 

The terms which were drawn up, and to which the 
Bunerwals agreed, were : 

The breaking-up of the tribal gathering in the Buner 

The destruction of Malka ; those carrying out the work 
to be accompanied by British officers and such escort as 
might be considered necessary by us. 

The expulsion of the Hindustanis from the Buner, 
Chamla, and Amazai countries. 

And, finally, it was stipulated that the headmen of their 
tribe should be left as hostages until such time as these 
requirements should have been fulfilled. 

On the afternoon of Saturday, the 19th December, the 
little party of British officers who were to witness the 
destruction of Malka assembled at Umbeyla. Its members 
were Keynell Taylor (who was in charge), Alex. Taylor 
(Commanding Engineer), two Survey officers, Wright, Adye, 
and myself. Twenty-five Cavalry and 4 companies of the 
Guides Infantry, under four officers, formed our escort, and 
it had been arranged that we were to be accompanied by 
four leading Buner Khans, with 2,000 followers, who would 
be responsible for our safety, and destroy the fanatics' 
stronghold in our presence. Bain was falling heavily, but 
as all our arrangements had been made, and delay was 


considered undesirable, it was settled that we should make 
a start. It was rough travelling, and it was almost dark 
when we reached Kuria, only eight miles on our way, where 
we halted for the night, and where we had to remain the 
next day, as the Bunerwals declared they could not continue 
the journey until they had come to an understanding with 
the Amazais, in whose territory Malka was situated. 

We had noticed on leaving Umbeyla that, instead of 
2,000 Bunerwals, there were only about sixty or seventy 
at the most, and in reply to our repeated questions as to 
what had become of the remainder, we were told they 
would join us later on. It soon became evident, however, 
that no more were coming, and that the Khans thought it 
wiser to trust to their own influence with the Amazais 
rather than to intimidation. 

We made a fresh start on the morning of the 21st. 
Malka was only twelve miles off, but the way was so 
difficult, and our guides stopped so often to consult with 
the numerous bands of armed men we came across, that 
it was sunset before we arrived at our destination. 

Malka was perched on a spur of the Mahabun mountain, 
some distance below its highest peak. It was a strong, 
well-built place, with accommodation for about 1,500 
people. The Amazais did not attempt to disguise their 
disgust at our presence in their country, and they gathered 
in knots, scowling and pointing at us, evidently discussing 
whether we should or should not be allowed to return. 

The next morning Malka was set on fire, and the huge 
column of smoke which ascended from the burning village, 
and was visible for miles round, did not tend to allay 
the ill-feeling so plainly displayed. The Native officers of 


the Guides warned us that delay was dangerous, as the 
people were becoming momentarily more excited, and were 
vowing we should never return. It was no use, however, to 
attempt to make a move without the consent of the tribes- 
men, for we were a mere handful compared to the thousands 
who had assembled around Malka, and we were separated 
from our camp by twenty miles of most difficult country. 
Our position was no doubt extremely critical, and it was 
well for us that we had at our head such a cool, determined 
leader as Keynell Taylor. I greatly admired the calm, 
quiet manner in which he went up and spoke to the head- 
men, telling them that, the object of our visit having been 
accomplished, we were ready to retrace our steps. At this 
the Amazais became still further excited. They talked in 
loud tones, and gesticulated in true Pathan fashion, throng- 
ing round Taylor, who stood quite alone and perfectly self- 
possessed in the midst of the angry and dangerous-looking 
multitude. At this crisis the Bunerwals came to our rescue. 
The most influential of the tribe, a grey-bearded warrior, who 
had lost an eye and an arm in some tribal contest, forced 
his way through the rapidly increasing crowd to Taylor's 
side, and, raising his one arm to enjoin silence, delivered 
himself as follows : ' You are hesitating whether you 
will allow these English to return unmolested. You can, 
of course, murder them and their escort ; but if you do, 
you must kill us Bunerwals first, for we have sworn to 
protect them, and we will do so with our lives.' This 
plucky speech produced a quieting effect, and taking 
advantage of the lull in the storm, we set out on our return 
journey ; but evidently the tribesmen did not consider the 
question finally or satisfactorily settled, for they followed us 


the whole way to Kuria. The slopes of the hills on both sides 
were covered with men. Several times we were stopped 
while stormy discussions took place, and once, as we were 
passing through a narrow defile, an armed Amazai, waving 
a standard above his head, rushed down towards us. 
Fortunately for us, he was stopped by some of those less 
inimically disposed ; for if he had succeeded in inciting 
anyone to fire a single shot, the desire for blood would 
quickly have spread, and in all probability not one of our 
party would have escaped. 

On the 23rd December we reached our camp in the 
Umbeyla Pass, when the force, which had only been kept 
there till our return, retired to the plains and was broken 

During my absence at Umbeyla my wife remained with 
friends at Mian Mir for some time, and then made her way 
to Peshawar, where I joined her on Christmas Day. She 
spent one night en route in Sir Hugh Eose's camp at 
Hasan Abdal, and found the Chief in great excitement and 
very angry at such a small party having been sent to 
Malka, and placed at the mercy of the tribes. He did 
not know that my wife had arrived, and in passing her 
tent she heard him say : ' It was madness, and not one 
of them will ever come back alive.' She was of course 
dreadfully frightened. As soon as Sir Hugh heard she 
was in camp, he went to see her, and tried to soften down 
what he knew she must have heard ; but he could not 
conceal his apprehension ; and my poor wife's anxiety was 
terrible, for she did not hear another word till the morning 
of the day I returned to her. 

[ 23 


Early in the New Year (1864) Sir Hugh Rose, with the 
Head-Quarters camp, marched into Peshawar, where we 
remained until the middle of February. The time was 
chiefly spent in inspections, parades, and field-days, varied 
by an occasional run with the hounds. The hunting about 
Peshawar was very fair, and we all, the Chief included, got 
a great deal of fun out of our small pack. 

On the 25th January a full-dress parade was held to 
announce to the garrison that Sir John Lawrence had 
been appointed Viceroy of India, and soon afterwards we 
left Peshawar and began our return march to Simla. 

We changed our house this year and took one close to 
the Stewarts, an arrangement for which I was very thank- 
ful later, when my wife had a great sorrow in the death of 
her sister, Mrs. Sladen, at Peshawar. It was everything 
for her at such a time to have a kind and sympathizing 
friend close at hand, when I was engaged with my work 
and could be very little with her during the day. At this 
time, as at all others, Sir Hugh Rose was a most considerate 
friend to us ; he placed his house at Mashobra at my wife's 
disposal, thus providing her with a quiet resort which she 
frequently made use of and which she learned to love so 


much that, when I returned to Simla as Commander-in- 
Chief, her first thought was to secure this lovely ' Retreat ' 
as a refuge from the (sometimes) slightly trying gaiety of 

The Commander-in-Chief was good enough to send in 
my name for a brevet for the Umbeyla expedition, but the 
Viceroy refused to forward the recommendation, for the 
reason that I was 'too junior to be made a Lieutenant- 
Colonel.' I was then thirty- two ! 

Throughout the whole of 1864 I was more or less ill ; 
the office work (which never suited me quite as well as 
more active employment) was excessive, for, in addition to 
the ordinary routine, I had undertaken to revise the 
'* Bengal Route-Book,' which had become quite obsolete, 
Laving been compiled in 1837, when Kurnal was our 
frontier station. A voyage round the Cape was still con- 
sidered the panacea for all Indian ailments, and the doctors 
strongly advised my taking leave to England, and travelling 
by that route. 

We left Simla towards the end of October, and, after 
spending the next three months in Calcutta, where I was 
chiefly employed in taking up transports and superintend- 
ing the embarkation of troops returning to England, I was 
given -the command of a batch of 300 time-expired men on 
board the Renown, one of Green's frigate-built ships which 
was chartered for their conveyance. Two hundred of the 
men belonged to the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Rifle 
Brigade, the remainder to the Artillery and various other 
corps ; tney had all been twelve years in the army, and 
most of them were decorated for service in the Crimea and 
Indian Mutiny. 


At the inspection parade before we embarked, a certain 
number of men were brought up for punishment for various 
offences committed on the way down country ; none of the 
misdemeanours appeared to me very serious, so I deter- 
mined to let the culprits off. I told the men that we had 
now met for the first time and I was unwilling to com- 
mence our acquaintance by awarding punishments; we 
had to spend three or four months together, and I hoped 
they would show, by their good behaviour while under my 
command, that I had not made a mistake in condoning 
their transgressions. The officers seemed somewhat sur- 
prised at my action in this matter, but I think it was 
proved by the men's subsequent conduct that I had not 
judged them incorrectly, for they all behaved in quite an 
exemplary manner throughout the voyage. 

We had been on board more than six weeks, when one of 
the crew was attacked by small-pox — an untoward circum- 
stance in a crowded ship. The sailor was placed in a 
boat which was hung over the ship's side, and a cabin-boy, 
the marks on whose face plainly showed that he had 
already suffered badly from the disease, was told off to look 
after him. The man recovered, and there was no other 
case. Shortly before we reached St. Helena, scurvy 
appeared amongst the troops, necessitating lime-juice being 
given in larger quantities, but what proved a more effectual 
remedy was water-cress, many sacks of which were laid in 
before we left the island. 

On the 29th May, 1865, we sighted the 'Lizard,' and 
took a pilot on board, who brought with him a few 
newspapers, which confirmed the tidings signalled to us 
by an American ship that the war between the Federals 



and Confederates was at an end. How eagerly we scanned 
the journals, after having heard nothing from home for 
four months, but the only piece of news we found of 
personal interest to ourselves was that my father had 
been made a K.C.B. 

On the 30th May we reached Portsmouth, and landed 
between two showers of snow ! I had a final parade 
of the men before leaving the ship, and I was quite 
sorry to say good-bye to them ; some of the poor fellows 
were already beginning to be anxious about their future, 
and to regret that their time with the colours was 

My father, mother, and sister came up to London to 
meet us, very little changed since I had left them six years 
before. I remained in England till March, 1866, when I 
returned to India, leaving my wife behind to follow in the 

While I was at home, Sir Hugh Eose's term of the chief 
command in India came to an end, and his place had 
been taken by Sir William Mansfield. On my arrival in 
Calcutta, I received orders to join the Allahabad division, 
and thither I proceeded. In October I went to Calcutta 
to meet my wife and take her to Allahabad, where we 
remained for nearly a year, her first experience of a hot 
season in the plains, and a very bad one it was. Cholera 
was rife ; the troops had to be sent away into camps, more 
or less distant from the station, all of which had to be 
visited once, if not twice, daily ; this kept me pretty well 
on the move from morning till night. It was a sad time 
for everyone. People we had seen alive and well one day 
were dead and buried the next ; and in the midst of all 


this sorrow and tragedy, the most irksome — because such 
an incongruous — part of our experience was that we had 
constantly to get up entertainments, penny readings, and 
the like, to amuse the men and keep their minds occupied, 
for if once soldiers begin to think of the terrors of cholera, 
they are seized with panic, and many get the disease from 
pure fright. 

My wife usually accompanied me to the cholera camps, 
preferring to do this rather than be left alone at home. On 
one occasion, I had just got into our carriage after going 
round the hospital, when a young officer ran after us to 
tell me a corporal in whom I had been much interested was 
dead. The poor fellow's face was blue ; the cholera panic 
had evidently seized him, and I said to my wife, ' He will 
be the next.' I had no sooner reached home than 1 re- 
ceived a report of his having been seized. 

We were fortunate in having at Allahabad as Chaplain 
the present Bishop of Lahore, who, with his wife, had only 
lately come to India ; they never wearied in doing all that 
was possible for the soldiers. Bishop Matthew is still one 
of our closest friends ; his good, charming, and accom- 
plished wife, alas ! died some years ago. 

We remained at Allahabad until August, 1867, when we 
heard that a brigade from Bengal was likely to be required 
to take part in an expedition which would probably be sent 
from Bombay to Abyssinia for the relief of some Europeans 
whom the King, Theodore, had imprisoned, and that the 
Mountain battery, on the strength of which my name was 
still borne, would in such case be employed. I therefore 
thought I had better go to Simla, see the authorities, and 
arrange for rejoining my battery, if the rumour turned out 


to be true. The cholera had now disappeared, so I was at 
liberty to take leave, and we both looked forward to a 
cooler climate and a change to brighter scenes after the 
wretched experience we had been through. On my arrival 
at Simla I called upon the Commander-in-Chief and told 
him that, if my battery was sent on service, I wished 
to join it and was quite ready to resign my staff appoint- 

Sir William Mansfield was particularly kind in his 
reception of me, from which I augured well ; but I could 
learn nothing definite, and it was not until quite the end 
of September that it was announced that Colonel Donald 
Stewart was to have command of the Bengal Brigade with 
the Abyssinian Force, and that I was to be his Assistant- 
Quartermaster-General. We at once hastened back to 
Allahabad, where we only remained long enough to pack 
up what we wanted to take with us, and arrange for the 
disposal of our property ; thence we proceeded to Calcutta, 
where, for the next two months, I had a busy time taking 
up transports and superintending the equipment of the 

I had often read and heard of the difficulties and delays 
experienced by troops landing in a foreign country, in 
consequence of their requirements not being all shipped 
in the same vessels with themselves — men in one ship, 
camp equipage in another, transport and field hospital 
in a third, or perhaps the mules in one and their pack- 
saddles in another ; and I determined to try and prevent 
these mistakes upon this occasion. With Stewart's 
approval, I arranged that each detachment should embark 
complete in every detail, which resulted in the troops 


being landed and marched off without the least delay as 
each vessel reached its destination.* 

We were living with the Stewarts in the Commander- 
in-Chief's quarters in Fort William, which His Excellency 
had placed at our disposal for the time being. On the 
1st November Calcutta was visited by the second cyclone 
within my experience. We had arranged to go to the 
opera that evening, but when it was time to start the 
wind was so high that there seemed every chance of the 
carriage being blown over before we could get there, so 
we decided not to attempt it. It was well we did, for the 
few adventurous spirits who struggled through the storm 
had the greatest difficulty in getting back to their homes. 
The opera-house was unroofed before the performance was 
half over, and very little of the building remained standing 
the next day. At bedtime we still thought it was only a 
bad storm, but towards midnight the wind increased to an 

* The average strength of the regiments was as follows : 10th and 
12th Bengal Cavalry, each 9 British officers, 13 Native officers, 450 
non-commissioned officers and men, 3 Native doctors, 489 horses, 
322 mules, 590 followers. 21st and 23rd Punjab Infantry, each 
9 British officers, 16 Native officers, 736 non-commissioned officers 
and men, 3 Native doctors, 10 horses, 350 mules, 400 followers. I 
found that six ships were required for the conveyance of a Cavalry and 
four for that of an Infantry regiment ; for the Mountain battery three 
ships were necessary, and for the coolie corps (1,550 strong) four ; in all 
twenty-seven ships, besides nine tugs. In selecting ships, care was 
taken to secure those intended for Artillery or Cavalry as high 'tween- 
decks as possible ; a sufficient number of these were procurable at 
Calcutta, either iron clippers from Liverpool or large North American 
built traders, with decks varying from 7 feet 6 inches to 8 feet 2 inches 
high. I gave the preference to wooden ships, as being cooler and more 
easily ventilated. The vessels taken up were each from 1,000 to 1,400 
tons, averaging in length from 150 to 200 feet, with a beam varying 
from 30 to 35 feet, and usually they had a clear upper deck, where 
from forty to fifty animals were accommodated. 


alarming extent, and my wife awoke me, and begged me 
to get up, as the windows were being burst open and 
deluges of rain coming in. Stewart and I tried to re- 
close the windows, but the thick iron bars had been bent 
in two and forced out of their sockets ; a heavy oak plate- 
chest and boxes, which we with much difficulty dragged 
across the windows, were blown into the middle of the 
dining-room, like so much cardboard, and the whole place 
was gradually flooded. We were driven out of each room 
in turn, till at length we all took refuge in a small 
box room, about ten c eet wide, right in the middle of the 
house, where we remained the rest of the night and ' hoped 
for the day.' 

Towards morning the wind abated, but what a scene of 
desolation was that upon which we emerged ! The rooms 
looked as if they could never be made habitable again, 
and much of our property was floating about in a foot 
of water. 

My first thought was for the shipping, and I hurried 
down to the river to see how my transports had fared. 
Things were much better than I expected to find them — 
only two had been damaged. Most fortunately the cyclone, 
having come from a different direction, was not accom- 
panied by a storm-wave such as that which worked so 
much mischief amongst the shipping on a former occasion, 
but the destruction on land was even greater: all the 
finest trees were torn up by the roots, a great part of the 
Native bazaar was levelled, and lay from two to three 
feet deep in water, while many houses were wholly 
or partly demolished. We came across most curious 
sights when driving round Calcutta in the evening; 

1868] LANDED AT ZULA 3 1 

some of the houses were divided clean down the centre, 
one half crumbled into a heap of ruins, the other half 
still standing and displaying, as in a doll's house, the 
furniture in the different stories. 

The work of filling up and loading the vessels was greatly 
retarded, owing to a large number of cargo boats having 
been sunk, consequently it was the 5th December before 
the first transport got off ; from that date the others started 
in quick succession, and on the 9th January, 1868, Stewart 
and his staff left Calcutta in the P. and 0. steamer 
Golconda. The officers and men of the Mountain battery 
were also on board, Captain Bogle in command, my friend 
Jemmy Hills in my place as second Captain, and Collen* 
and Disney as subalterns. Mrs. Stewart and my wife 
accompanied us as far as Aden, where they were left to the 
kind care of Major- General Eussell,! commanding there 
at the time, until the arrival of the mail-steamer in which 
they were to proceed to England. 

On the 3rd February we anchored in Annesley Bay and 
landed at Zula. 

* Now Major-General Sir Edwin Collen, K.C.I.E., Military Member 
of the Governor-General's Council. 

t Now General Sir Edward Lechmere Kussell, K.C.S.I. 

[ 32 ] 


It will, perhaps, be as well to recall to the reader's mind 
that the object of the expedition in which we were taking 
part was to rescue some sixty Europeans, who, from one 
cause or another, had found their way to Abyssinia, and 
been made prisoners by the King of that country. Amongst 
these were four English officials, Mr. Eassam, and Captain 
Cameron, who had at different times been the bearers 
of letters from Queen Victoria to King Theodore, and Lieu- 
tenant Prideaux and Dr. Blanc of the Bombay Army ; the 
rest were chiefly French and German missionaries, and 
artisans, with their wives and children. The prisoners were 
confined in a fort built on the Magdala plateau, 9,150 feet 
above sea-level, and 379 miles inland from Annesley Bay. 

The repeated demands of the British Government for 
the restoration of the prisoners having been treated with 
contemptuous silence by the King, Colonel Merewether, 
the Political Agent at Aden, who in July, 1867, had been 
directed to proceed to Massowa and endeavour to obtain 
the release of the captives, and to make inquiries and 
collect information in case of an expedition having to be 
sent, reported to the Secretary of State that he had failed 
to communicate with the King, and urged the advisability 


of immediate measures being taken to prepare a force in 
India for the punishment of Theodore and the rescue of 
the prisoners. Colonel Merewether added that in Abyssinia 
the opinion had become very general that England knew 
herself to be too weak to resent insult, and that amongst 
the peoples of the neighbouring countries, even so far 
as Aden, there was a feeling of contemptuous surprise 
at the continued long-suffering endurance of the British 

On receipt of this communication, Her Majesty's 
Government, having exhausted all their resources for 
the preservation of peace, decided to send an expedition 
from India under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir 
Kobert Napier, the Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay 
Army. After carefully considering the distance along 
which operations would have to be prosecuted, and the 
necessity for holding a number of detached posts, Napier 
gave it as his opinion that the force should consist of not 
less than 12,000 men.* 

Profiting by the experience of the Crimean war, the 
Government was determined that the mobility of the force 
should not be hampered by want of food and clothing. 
Stores of all descriptions were despatched in unstinted 
quantities from England, and three of the steamers in 
which they were conveyed were fitted up as hospital 
ships. But food, clothing, and stores, however liberally 
supplied, would not take the army to Magdala without 

* The numbers actually despatched from India were 13,548, of whom 
3,786 were Europeans. In addition, a company of Eoyal Engineers 
was sent from England. 

vol. 11. 35 


The question as to the most suitable organization for the 
Land Transport Corps occupied a good deal of Sir Kobert 
Napier's attention while the expedition was being fitted 
out, and caused a considerable amount of correspondence 
between him and the Bombay Government. The Com- 
missary-General wished to keep the corps under his own 
orders, and objected to its being given an entirely military 
organization. Sir Kobert Napier preferred to establish 
the corps on an independent basis, but was at first over- 
ruled by the Bombay Government. "While acting in 
accordance with their orders, the Commander-in-Chief 
wrote : ' I believe that the success of systems depends 
more on the men who work them than on the systems 
themselves ; but I cannot accept without protest a decision 
to throw such a body of men as the drivers of our transport 
animals will be (if we get them) on an expedition in a 
foreign country without a very complete organization to 
secure order and discipline.' Eventually Sir Bobert got 
his own way, but much valuable time had been lost, and the 
corps was organized on too small a scale ;* the officers and 
non-commissioned officers were not sent to Zula in sufficient 
time or in sufficient numbers to take charge of the transport 
animals as they arrived. 

A compact, properly- supervised train of 2,600 mules, 

with serviceable, well-fitting pack-saddles, was sent from 

the Punjab ; and from Bombay came 1,400 mules and ponies 

and 5,600 bullocks, but these numbers proving altogether 

inadequate to the needs of the expedition, they were 

* At first it was thought that 10,000 mules, with a coolie corps 
3,000 strong, would suffice, but before the expedition was over it was 
found necessary to purchase 18,000 mules, 1,500 ponies, 1,800 donkeys, 
12,000 camels, and 8,400 bullocks. 


supplemented by animals purchased in Persia, Egypt, and 
on the shores of the Mediterranean. The men to look 
after them were supplied from the same sources, but their 
number, even if they had been efficient, was insufficient, 
and they were a most unruly and unmanageable lot. They 
demanded double the pay for which they had enlisted, and 
struck work in a body because their demand was not at 
once complied with. They refused to take charge of the 
five mules each man was hired to look after, and when 
that number was reduced to three, they insisted that one 
should be used as a mount for the driver. But the worst 
part of the whole organization, or, rather, want of organi- 
zation, was that there had been no attempt to fit the 
animals with pack-saddles, some of which were sent from 
England, some from India, and had to be adjusted to the 
mules after they had been landed in Abyssinia, where there 
was not an establishment to make the necessary alterations. 
The consequence was that the wretched animals became 
cruelly galled, and in a few weeks a large percentage were 
unfit for work, and had to be sent to the sick depot. 

Other results of having no properly arranged transport 
train, and no supervision or discipline, were that mules 
were lost or stolen, starved for want of food, or famished 
from want of water. The condition of the unfortunate 
animals was such that, though they had been but a few 
weeks in the country, when they were required to proceed 
to Senafe, only sixty-seven miles distant, a very small pro- 
portion were able to accomplish the march ; hundreds died 
on the way, and their carcases, quickly decomposing in the 
hot sun, became a fruitful source of dangerous disease to 
the force. 


On arrival at Zula, we were told that Sir Eobert Napier 
was at Senafe, the first station in the Hills, and the 
advanced depot for supplies. We of the Bengal brigade 
were somewhat disconcerted at the orders which awaited 
us, from which we learned that our brigade was to be 
broken up ; the troops were to proceed to the front ; 
while Stewart was to take command at Senafe, and I 
myself was to remain at Zula, as senior staff officer. The 
disappointment was great, but, being the last-comer, I had 
no unfairness to complain of, and I had plenty to do. I 
spent the greater part of each day amongst the shipping, 
superintending the embarkation and disembarkation of 
men, animals, and stores. 

Zula was not an attractive place of residence. The 
heat was intense — 117° in the daytime in my tent. The 
allowance of fresh water was extremely limited,* while 
the number of scorpions was quite the reverse, and 
the food, at the best, was not appetizing. Few who 
remained there as long as I did escaped scurvy and horrible 
boils or sores. I was fortunate, however, in finding in 
charge of the transport arrangements afloat, my old friend 
and Eton schoolfellow, George Tryon,! to whom I owed 
many a good dinner, and, what I appreciated even more, 
many a refreshing bath on board the Euphrates, a transport 
belonging to the British India Steam Navigation Company 
which had been fitted up for Captain Tryon and his staff. 
Indeed, all the officers of the Eoyal Navy were most helpful 
and kind, and I have a very pleasant recollection of the 

* Fresh water was obtained by condensing the sea-water ; there 
were few condensers, and no means of aerating the water, 
f The late Admiral Sir George Tryon, K.C.B. 


hospitality I received from Commodore Heath* and those 
serving under him. 

During the four months I remained at Zula, Tryon 
and I were constantly together, and I had plenty of 
opportunity for observing the masterly manner in which 
he could grasp a situation, his intimate knowledge of 
detail, and the strong hold he had over all those working 
with him, not only the officers of the Eoyal Navy, but also 
the commanders of the merchant vessels taken up as 
transports, and lying in Annesley Bay. 

On the 17th April news reached us that four days 
before Sir Kobert Napier had successfully attacked Magdala 
and released the prisoners, having experienced but very 
slight opposition ; and that King Theodore, deserted by his 
army, which had apparently become tired of his brutalities, 
had committed suicide.! A few days later Major-General 
Eussell, who had come from Aden to take over the com- 
mand at Zula, received orders to prepare for the embarka- 
tion of the force. Arrangements were accordingly made 
to enable regiments and batteries to be embarked on board 
the transports told off for them directly they arrived from 
the front — a matter of the utmost importance, both on 
account of the fearful heat at Zula, and the absence of a 
sufficient water-supply. 

On the 2nd June the Commander-in-Chief returned to 
Zula and on the 10th he embarked on board the old Indian 
Marine steamer Feroze for Suez. Sir Eobert was good 
enough to ask me to accompany him, as he wished to 

* Now Admiral Sir Leopold Heath, K.C.B. 

f He is said to have killed in one month, or burnt alive, more than 
3,000 people. He pillaged and burnt the churches at Gondur, and had 
many priests and young girls cast alive into the flames. 


make me the bearer of his final despatches. My work was 
ended, the troops had all left, and as I was pretty well 
knocked up, I felt extremely grateful for the offer, and 
very proud of the great honour the Chief proposed to 
confer upon me. 

We reached Alexandria on the 20th June, and the next 
day I started in the mail-steamer for Brindisi, arriving in 
London on the evening of Sunday, the 28th. I received a 
note at my club from Edwin Johnson (who was at that 
time Assistant Military Secretary to H.R.H. the Duke of 
Cambridge), directing me to take the despatches without 
delay to the Secretary of State for India. I found Sir 
Stafford and Lady Northcote at dinner ; Sir Stafford looked 
through the despatches, and when he had finished read- 
ing them, he asked me to take them without delay to the 
Commander-in-Chief, as he knew the Duke was most 
anxious to see them. There was a dinner-party, however, 
that night at Gloucester House, and the servant told me 
it was quite impossible to disturb His Eoyal Highness ; 
so, placing my card on the top of the despatches, I told 
the man to deliver them at once, and went back to my 
club. I had scarcely reached it, when the Duke's Aide-de- 
camp made his appearance and told me that he had been 
ordered to find me and take me back with him. The 
Commander-in-Chief received me very kindly, expressing 
regret that I had been sent away in the first instance ; 
and Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of 
Wales, who were present, were most gracious, and asked 
many questions about the Abyssinian Expedition. 

The next day I joined my wife, who was staying with 
my people at Clifton, and on the 14th August, when the 

FIRST A.Q.M.G. 39 

rewards for the Abyssinian Expedition were published, my 
name appeared for a brevet Lieutenant-Colonelcy. 

I was now anxious to ascertain in what manner I was to 
be employed. My five years as A.Q.M.G. were about to 
expire, and I thought I should like to go back to my 
regiment for a time. I therefore applied for the command 
of a battery of Horse Artillery. I was told, in answer to 
my application, that it was not the custom to appoint an 
officer who had been in staff employment for some time to 
the mounted branch, but that, in consideration of my 
services, the Duke of Cambridge was pleased to make an 
exception in my favour. I was posted to a battery at 
Meerut, and warned to be ready to start in an early troop- 
ship. Before the time for our departure arrived, however, 
I received a letter from Lumsden, who had now become 
Quartermaster -General, informing me that the Com- 
mander-in-Chief had recommended, and the Government 
had approved of, the formation of a fresh grade — that of 
First A.Q.M.G. — and that he was directed by Sir William 
Mansfield to offer the new appointment to me — an offer 
which I gratefully accepted ; for though the command of a. 
Horse Artillery battery would have been most congenial,, 
this unexpected chance of five years' further staff employ- 
was too good to be refused. 

On the 4th January, 1869, having said good-bye to those 
dear to us, two of whom I was never to see again, my wife 
and I, with a baby girl who was born the previous July, 
embarked at Portsmouth on board the s.s. Helvetia, which 
had been taken up for the conveyance of troops to Bombay, 
the vessel of the Boyal Navy in which we were to have 
sailed having suddenly broken down. The Helvetia proved 


most unsuitable as a transport, and uncomfortable to the 
last degree for passengers, besides which it blew a gale the 
whole way to Alexandria. We were all horribly ill, and our 
child caught a fatal cold. We thoroughly appreciated a 
change at Suez to the Indian trooper, the Malabar, where 
everything possible was done for our comfort by our kind 
captain (Eich, E.N.), and, indeed, by everyone on board; 
but, alas ! our beautiful little girl never recovered the 
cruel experience of the Helvetia, and we had the terrible 
; grief of losing her soon after we passed Aden. She was 
buried at sea. 

It was a very sad journey after that. There were several 
nice, kind people amongst our fellow-passengers ; but life 
on board ship at such a time, surrounded by absolute 
strangers, was a terrible trial to us both, and, what with 
the effects of the voyage and the anxiety and sorrow she 
had gone through, my wife was thoroughly ill when we 
arrived at Simla towards the end of February. 

[4i J 


In January, 1869, Sir John Lawrence, after a career which 
was altogether unique, he having risen from the junior 
grades of the Bengal Civil Service to the almost regal 
position of Governor- General, left India for good. He was 
succeeded as Viceroy by Lord Mayo, one of whose first 
official acts was to hold a durbar at Umballa for the re- 
ception of the Amir Sher Ali, who, after five years of civil 
war, had succeeded in establishing himself on the throne 
of Afghanistan, to which he had been nominated by his 
father, Dost Mahomed Khan.* 

Sher Ali had passed through a stormy time between the 

* Dost Mahomed had several sons. Mahomed Akbar and Ghulam 
Haidar, the two heirs-designate in succession, died before their father. 
Sixteen other sons were alive in 1863, of whom the following were the 
eldest : 

1. Mahomed Afzal Khan, aged 52 years | By a wife not of 

2. Mahomed Azim Khan, 

3. Sher Ali Khan 

4. Mahomed Amir Khan 

5. Mahomed Sharif Khan 

6. Wali Mahomed Khan 

7. Faiz Mahomed Khan 

45 ,, ) Eoyal blood. 

a* I By a favourite 

orv I Popalzai wife. 


By a third wife. 

Afzal Khan had a son Abdur Rahman Khan, the present Amir of 
Afghanistan, and Sher Ali had five sons — Ali Khan, Yakub Khan, 
Ibrahim Khan, Ayub Khan, and Abdula Jan. 


death of the Dost, in June, 1863, and September, 1868. 
He had been acknowledged as the rightful heir by the 
Government of India, and for the first three years he 
held the Amirship in a precarious sort of way. His two 
elder brothers, Afzal and Azim, and his nephew, Abdur 
Eahman (the present ruler of Afghanistan), were in re- 
bellion against him. The death of his favourite son and 
heir-apparent, Ali Khan, in action near Khelat-i-Ghilzai, 
in 1865, grieved him so sorely that for a time his reason 
was affected. In May, 1866, he was defeated near Ghazni 
(mainly owing to the treachery of his own troops) by 
Abdur Eahman, who, releasing his father, Afzal, from the 
prison into which he had been cast by Sher Ali, led him in 
triumph to Kabul, and proclaimed him Amir of Afghanistan. 
The new Amir, Afzal, at once wrote to the Government 
of India detailing what had occurred, and expressing a 
hope that the friendship of the British, which he so greatly 
valued, would be extended to him. He was told, in reply, 
that the Government recognized him as Kuler of Kabul, 
but that, as Sher Ali still held Kandahar and Herat, 
existing engagements with the latter could not be broken 
off. The evident preference thus displayed for Sher Ali 
caused the greatest vexation to the brothers Afzal and 
Azim, who showed their resentment by directing an Envoy 
who had come from Swat to pay his respects to the new 
Amir to return to his own country and set on foot a holy 
war against the English ; the Waziri maliks* in attend- 
ance at the court were dismissed with presents and direc- 
tions to harass the British frontier, while an emissary was 
despatched on a secret mission to the Russians. 

* The headmen of villages in Afghanistan are styled maliks. 


After his defeat near Ghazni, Sher Ali fled to Kandahar, 
and in the January of the following year (again owing to 
treachery in his army) he met with a second defeat near 
Khelat-i-Ghilzai, and lost Kandahar. 

On this fact being communicated to the Government of 
India, Afzal Khan was in his turn recognized as Amir 
of Kabul and Kandahar. But he was at the same time 
informed that the British Government intended to maintain 
a strict neutrality between the contending parties in 
Afghanistan. John Lawrence, in his letter of the 20th of 
February, said that 'neither men, nor arms, nor money, 
nor assistance of any kind, have ever been supplied by my 
Government to Amir Sher Ali. Your Highness and he, 
both equally unaided by me, have fought out the battle, 
each upon your own resources. I purpose to continue the 
same policy for the future. If, unhappily, the struggle for 
supremacy in Afghanistan has not yet been brought to a 
close, and hostilities are again renewed, I shall still side 
with neither party.' 

This reply altogether failed to satisfy Afzal and Azim. 
They answered it civilly, but at the same time they sent a 
copy of it to General Bomanofski, the Bussian Governor of 
Tashkent, who was informed by the new Amir that he had 
no confidence in the ' Lord sahib's fine professions of 
friendship, and that he was disgusted with the British 
Government for the ingratitude and ill-treatment shown 
towards his brother Azim.* He looked upon the Bussians 
as his real and only friends, hoped soon to send a 

* Azim Khan behaved well towards the Lumsden Mission, and it 
was reported that he encouraged his father, Dost Mahomed Khan, not 
to disturb the Peshawar frontier during the Mutiny. 


regular Ambassador to the Eussian camp, and would at 
all times do his utmost to protect and encourage Eussian 

In October of this year (1867) Afzal Khan died, and his 
brother Azim, hastening to Kabul, took upon himself the 
Amirship. Abdur Eahman had hoped to have succeeded his 
father, but his uncle having forestalled him, he thought it 
politic to give in his allegiance to him, which he did by 
presenting his dead father's sword, in durbar, to the new 
Amir, who, like his predecessor, was now acknowledged 
by the Government of India as Euler of Kabul and Kan- 

The tide, however, was beginning to turn in favour of 
Sher Ali. Azim and Abdur Eahman quarrelled, and the 
former, by his extortions and cruelties, made himself 
detested by the people generally. 

In March, 1868, Sher Ali's eldest son, Yakub Khan, 
regained possession of Kandahar for his father. In July 
father and son found themselves strong enough to move 
towards Ghazni, where Azim Khan's army was assembled. 
The latter, gradually deserted by his soldiers, took to 
flight, upon which Sher Ali, after an absence of forty 
months, entered Kabul on the 8th of September, and 
re-possessed himself of all his dominions, with the excep- 
tion of Balkh, where Azim and Abdur Eahman (now 
reconciled to each other) still flew the flag of rebellion. 

One of the newly-installed Amir's first acts was to 
inform the Viceroy of his return to Kabul, and of the 
recovery of his kingdom. He announced his desire to 
send some trusted representatives, or else proceed himself 
in person, to Calcutta, ' for the purpose of showing his 


sincerity and firm attachment to the British Government, 
and making known his real wants.' 

Sir John Lawrence, in his congratulatory reply, showed 
that a change had come over his policy of non-interference 
in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, for he stated that he 
was ' prepared, not only to maintain the bonds of amity 
and goodwill which were established between Dost 
Mahomed and the British Government, but, so far as may 
be practicable, to strengthen those bonds ' ; and, as a 
substantial proof of his goodwill, the Viceroy sent Sher 
Ali £60,000, aid which arrived at a most opportune 
moment, and gave the Amir that advantage over his 
opponents which is of incalculable value in Afghan civil 
war, namely, funds wherewith to pay the army and bribe 
the opposite side. 

The energetic and capable Abdur Bahman Khan had in 
the meantime collected a sufficient number of troops in 
Turkestan to enable him to move towards Kabul with his 
uncle Azim. On nearing Ghazni, he found himself con- 
fronted by Sher Ali ; the opposing forces were about equal 
in strength, and on both sides there was the same scarcity 
of ready money. Suddenly the report was received that 
money was being sent from India to Sher Ali, and this 
turned the scale in his favour. Abdur Bahman's men 
deserted in considerable numbers, and a battle fought on 
the 3rd January, 1869, resulted in the total defeat of uncle 
and nephew, and in the firmer consolidation of Sher Ali's 

The change in policy which induced the Government of 
India to assist a struggling Amir with money, after its 
repeated and emphatic declarations that interference was 


impossible, was undoubtedly brought about by an able and 
elaborate memorandum written by the late Sir Henry 
Eawlinson on the 28th July, 1868. In this paper Eaw- 
linson pointed out that, notwithstanding promises to the 
contrary, Eussia was steadily advancing towards Afghan- 
istan. He referred to the increased facilities of communi- 
cation which would be the result of the recent proposal 
to bring Turkestan into direct communication, via the 
Caspian, with the Caucasus and St. Petersburg. He 
dwelt at length upon the effect which the advanced position 
of Eussia in Central Asia would have upon Afghanistan 
and India. He explained that by the occupation of 
Bokhara Eussia would gain a pretext for interfering in 
Afghan politics, and ' that if Eussia once assumes a posi- 
tion which, in virtue either of an imposing military force 
on the Oxus, or of a dominant political influence in 
Afghanistan, entitles her, in Native estimation, to 
challenge our Asiatic supremacy, the disquieting effect will 
be prodigious.' 

' With this prospect before us/ Sir Henry asked, ' are 
we justified in maintaining what has been sarcastically, 
though perhaps unfairly, called Sir John Lawrence's 
policy of "masterly inaction"? Are we justified in allowing 
Eussia to work her way to Kabul unopposed, and there 
to establish herself as a friendly power prepared to protect 
the Afghans against the English ?' He argued that it was 
contrary to our interests to permit anarchy to reign in 
Afghanistan ; that Lord Auckland's famous doctrine of 
1 establishing a strong and friendly Power on our North- 
West Frontier ' was the right policy for India , that Dost 
Mahomed's successful management of his country was 


in a great measure due to our aid, and that, if we had 
helped the son as we had helped the father, Sher Ali 
would have summarily suppressed the opposition of his 
brothers and nephews.' Kawlinson then added: 'Another 
opportunity now presents itself. The fortunes of Sher Ali 
are again in the ascendant ; he should be secured in our 
interests without delay.' 

Eawlinson's suggestions were not at the time supposed 
to commend themselves to the Government of India. In 
the despatch in which it was answered,* the Viceroy and 
his Councillors stated that they still objected to any active 
interference in the affairs of Afghanistan ; they foresaw no 
limits to the expenditure which such a move would entail, 
and they believed that the objects that they had at heart 
might be attained by an attitude of readiness and firmness 
on the frontier. It is worthy of note, however, that, after 
Sir Henry Eawlinson's memorandum had been received by 
the Indian Government, and notwithstanding these protests, 
the sum of <£60,000 was sent to Sher Ali, that Sir John 
Lawrence invited him ' to come to some place in British 
territory for a personal meeting in order to discuss the best 
manner in which a limited support might be accorded,' and 
that five days from the time of writing the above-mentioned 
despatch, John Lawrence sent a farewell letter to Sher Ali, 
expressing the earnest hope of the British Government 
that His Highness' s authority would be established on a 
solid and permanent basis, and informing him that a 
further sum of ^960,000 would be supplied to him during 
the next few months, and that future Viceroys would 
consider, from time to time, what amount of practical 
* Dated 4th January, 1869. 


assistance in the shape of money or war materials should 
periodically be made over to him as a testimony of their 
friendly feeling, and to the furtherance of his legitimate 
authority and influence. 

Sher Ali expressed himself as most grateful, and came to 
Umballa full of hope and apparently thoroughly well 
disposed towards the British Government. He was 
received with great state and ceremony, and Lord Mayo 
was most careful to demonstrate that he was treating with 
an independent, and not a feudatory, Prince. 

At this conference Sher Ali began by unburdening 
himself of his grievances, complaining to Lord Mayo of 
the manner in which his two elder brothers had each 
in his turn been recognized as Amir, and dwelling on 
the one-sided nature of the treaty made with his father, 
by which the British Government only bound itself to 
abstain from interfering with Afghanistan, while the 
Amir was to be ' the friend of the friends and the enemy 
of the enemies of the Honourable East India Company.' 
His Highness then proceeded to make known his wants, 
which were that he and his lineal descendants on the 
throne that he had won ' by his own good sword ' should 
be acknowledged as the de jure sovereigns of Afghanistan ; 
that a treaty offensive and defensive should be made with 
him ; and that he should be given a fixed subsidy in the 
form of an annual payment. 

It was in regard to the first of these three demands that 
Sher Ali was most persistent. He explained repeatedly 
and at some length that to acknowledge the Euler pro 
tempore and de facto was to invite competition for a throne, 
and excite the hopes of all sorts of candidates ; but that 


if the British Government would recognize him and his 
dynasty, there was nothing he would not do in order to 
evince his gratitude. 

These requests, the Amir was informed, were inadmis- 
sible. There could be no treaty, no fixed subsidy, no 
dynastic pledges. He was further told that we were pre- 
pared to discourage his rivals, to give him warm counte- 
nance and support, and such material assistance as we 
considered absolutely necessary for his immediate wants, 
if he, on his part, would undertake to do all he could to 
maintain peace on our frontier and to comply with our 
wishes in matters connected with trade. 

As an earnest of our goodwill, the Amir was given the 
second £60,000 promised him by Sir John Lawrence, 
besides a considerable supply of arms and ammunition,* and 
was made happy by a promise that European officers 
should not be required to reside in any of his cities. 
Before the conference took place, Lord Mayo had con- 
templated British agents being sent to Kabul in order to 
obtain accurate information regarding events in Central 
Asia, but on discovering how vehemently opposed Sher Ali 
was to such an arrangement, he gave him this promise. 
Saiyad Nur Mahomed, the Minister who accompanied 
the Amir, though equally averse to European agents, 
admitted that ' the day might come when the Kussians 
would arrive, and the Amir would be glad, not only of 

* Besides the remainder of the aggregate sum of twelve lakhs, 
6,500 more rifles were forwarded to the frontier for transmission to the 
Amir, and in addition four 18-pounder smooth-bore guns, two 8-inch 
howitzers, and a Mountain battery of six 3-pounders complete, with 
due proportion of ammunition and stores, together with draught 
bullocks and nine elephants. 

vol. 11. 36 


British officers as agents, but of arms and troops to back 

One request which the Amir made towards the close of 
the meeting the Viceroy agreed to, which was that we 
should call Persia to account for her alleged encroach- 
ments on the debatable ground of Sistan. This, which 
seemed but an unimportant matter at the time, was one 
of the chief causes of Sher Ali's subsequent estrangement ; 
for the committee of arbitration which inquired into it 
decided against the Amir, who never forgave what he 
considered our unfriendly action in discountenancing his 

The Umballa conference was, on the whole, successful, 
in that Sher Ali returned to his own country much 
gratified at the splendour of his reception, and a firm 
personal friend of Lord Mayo, whose fine presence and 
genial manner had quite won the Amir's heart, although 
he had not succeeded in getting from him everything he 
had demanded. 

[ 5i ] 


We spent a very quiet year at Simla. My wife was far 
from strong, and we had another great sorrow in the death 
of a baby boy three weeks after his birth. 

That winter I was left in charge of the Quartermaster- 
General's office, and we moved into ' Ellerslie,' a larger and 
warmer house than that in which we had lived during the 

Simla in the winter, after a fresh fall of snow, is par- 
ticularly beautiful. Eange after range of hills clothed in 
their spotless garments stretch away as far as the eye can 
reach, relieved in the foreground by masses of reddish - 
brown perpendicular cliffs and dark-green ilex and deodar 
trees, each bearing its pure white burden, and decked 
with glistening fringes of icicles. Towards evening the 
scene changes, and the snow takes the most gorgeous 
colouring from the descending rays of the brilliant eastern 
sun — brilliant even in mid-winter — turning opal, pink, 
scarlet, and crimson ; gradually, as the light wanes, fading 
into delicate lilacs and grays, which slowly mount upwards, 
till at last even the highest pinnacle loses the life-giving 
tints, and the whole snowy range itself turns cold and 
white and dead against a background of deepest sapphire 


blue. The spectator shivers, folds himself more closely in 
his wraps, and retreats indoors, glad to be greeted by a 
blazing log-fire and a hot cup of tea. 

In the spring of the next year (1870) Sir William 
Mansfield's term of command came to an end, and he 
was succeeded by Lord Napier of Magdala. The selection 
of this distinguished officer for the highest military position 
in India was greatly appreciated by the Indian army, as 
no officer of that army had held it since the days of Lord 

In September a daughter was born, and that winter we 
again remained at Simla. I amused myself by going 
through a course of electric telegraphy, which may seem 
rather like a work of supererogation ; but during the 
Umbeyla campaign, when the telegraph office had to be 
closed in consequence of all the clerks being laid up with 
fever, and we could neither read nor send messages, I deter- 
mined that I would on the first opportunity learn electric 
signalling, in order that I might be able to decipher and 
send telegrams should I ever again find myself in a similar 

In May my wife and I went for a march across the hills 
to Chakrata, and thence to Mussoorie and back by way of 
Dehra Dun and the plains. The object of this trip was to 
settle the boundary of Chakrata, and my wife took the 
opportunity of my being ordered on this duty to get away 
from Simla, as we had now been there for more than two 
years, and were consequently rather longing for a change. 
Our route lay through most beautiful scenery, and not- 
withstanding that the trip was a little hurried, and that 
some of the marches were therefore rather long, we 

1871] THE LUSHAIS 53 

enjoyed it immensely. When passing along the ridge of 
a very high hill one afternoon, we witnessed rather a 
curious sight — a violent thunderstorm was going on in the 
valley below us, while we ourselves remained in the mildest, 
most serene atmosphere, enjoying bright sunshine and a 
blue sky. Dense black clouds filled up the valley a 
thousand feet beneath us, the thunder roared, the lightning 
flashed, and soon we could hear the rush of waters in the 
streams below from the torrents of rain which the clouds 
were discharging, but it was not until we had crossed over 
the mountain, and descended to a low level on the other 
side, that we fully realized the effects of the heavy storm. 

On our return to Simla we had the pleasure of a visit 
from Major-General Donald Stewart, who had come up 
to receive Lord Mayo's instructions before taking over his 
appointment as Superintendent of the Andaman Islands. 
In September he and I travelled together to Calcutta, to 
which place I was directed to proceed in order to make 
arrangements for a military expedition into the country of 
the Lushais, having been appointed senior staff officer to 
the force. 

Lushai, situated between south-eastern Bengal and 
Burma, was a terra incognita to me, and I had only heard 
of it in connexion with the raids made by its inhabitants 
upon the tea-gardens in its vicinity, which had now spread 
too far away from Cachar for the garrison of that small 
military station to afford them protection. From time 
to time the Lushais had done the planters much damage, 
and carried off several prisoners, and various attempts 
had been made in the shape of small military expeditions 
to punish the tribesmen and rescue the captives ; but from 


want of proper organization, and from not choosing the 
right time of the year, these attempts had hitherto been 
unsuccessful, and our failures had the inevitable result 
of making the Lushais bolder. Eaids became more fre- 
quent and more destructive; until at last a little European 
girl, named Mary Winchester, was carried off, and kept by 
them as a prisoner ; on this the Lieutenant-Governor of 
Bengal declared that a punitive expedition was ' absolutely 
necessary for the future security of the British subjects 
residing on the Cachar and Chittagong frontiers.' 

The despatch of a force was therefore decided upon ; 
it was to consist of two small columns* — one having 
its base at Cachar, the other at Chittagong — commanded 
respectively by Brigadier-Generals Bourchier, C.B., and 
C. Brownlow, C.B., supreme political power being also 
vested in these two officers. Long experience had taught 
Lord Napier the wisdom of having only one head in time 
of war, and he impressed upon the Government his opinion 
that the civil officers, while acting as advisers and as the 
channels of communication with the tribes, should be sub- 
ordinate to the control of the two Commanders, who, after 
having been put in possession of the views and wishes of 
the Government, should be held responsible for carrying 
them out loyally so far as circumstances and the safety of 
the force would permit. 

As the existence of the tea industry was at stake, 

* The Cachar column consisted of half of the Peshawar Mountain 
battery, one company of Bengal Sappers and Miners, the 22nd Punjab 
Infantry, 42nd and 44th Assam Light Infantry. The Chittagong 
column consisted of the other half of the Mountain battery, the 27th 
Punjab Infantry, and the 2nd and 4th Gurkhas. Each regiment was 
500 strong, and each column was accompanied by 100 armed police. 


the Lushais having established a perfect terror on all 
the estates within their reach, it was essential that 
they should be given a severe lesson, and this could 
only be done by their principal villages, which lay at some 
considerable distance from the base of operations, being 
visited in force. The difficult country and the paucity of 
transport necessitated the columns being lightly equipped ; 
no tents were to be allowed, and baggage and followers 
were to be reduced to a minimum. My instructions were 
to fit out and despatch the two columns, and then join 
Brigadier-General Bourchier at Cachar. 

I was kept in Calcutta all October — not a pleasant month, 
the climate then being very muggy and unhealthy. Every- 
one who could get away had gone to the Hills or out to sea ; 
and the offices being closed for the Hindu holidays of the 
Durga Puja, it was extremely difficult to get work done. 
Everything for the Chittagong column had to be sent by sea. 
The shipping of the elephants was rather interesting : they 
clung desperately to the ground, trying hard to prevent 
themselves being lifted from it ; and when at last, in spite 
of all their struggles, they were hoisted into the air, the 
helpless appearance of the huge animals and their despair- 
ing little cries and whines were quite pathetic. I found it 
trying work being on the river all day ; my eyes suffered 
from the glare, and I became so reduced that before I 
left Calcutta I weighed scarcely over eight stone — rather 
too fine a condition in which to enter on a campaign in 
a mountainous country, so thickly covered with jungle as 
to make riding out of the question. 

By the 3rd November the equipment and stores for both 
columns had been despatched, and on the 16th I joined 


General Bourchier at the house of that most hospitable of 
hosts, Mr. Edgar,* Deputy- Commissioner of Cachar, who 
accompanied the left column as civil officer. 

We left Cachar on the 23rd, and from the outset we had 
to make our own roads, a labour which never ceased until 
the end of January, by which date 110 miles had been com- 
pleted. There was not the vestige of a track to direct us ; 
but I got hold of some people of the country, with whom I 
made friends, and induced them to act as guides. Many a 
long and weary reconnaissance had to be executed, however, 
before the line of advance could be decided upon. The troops 
worked with a will, and, notwithstanding the vapour-bath- 
like atmosphere of the valleys and the difficult nature of 
the country, which was a succession of hill-ranges covered 
with jungle forests, made almost impenetrable from the 
huge creepers, and intersected by rivers and watercourses, 
a good road, from six to eight feet wide, was constructed, 
with a sufficiently easy gradient for laden elephants to 
travel over. Cutting one's way day after day through 
these dense, gloomy forests, through which hardly a ray of 
light penetrates, was most stifling and depressing. One 
could hardly breathe, and was quite unable to enjoy the 
beauty of the magnificent trees, the graceful bamboos and 
canes, and the wonderful creepers, which abounded, and 
under other circumstances would have been a source of 
pleasure ; the difficulties we encountered, and the conse- 
quent delay in our progress, quite prevented me from 
being in a frame of mind to appreciate my picturesque 

It became evident from the first that our onward move- 

* Now Sir John Edgar, K.C.S.I. 


ments would be greatly impeded by want of transport. 
Notwithstanding the experience which ought to have been 
gained in many small mountain wars, the Government had 
not been taught that a properly organized transport corps 
was an absolute necessity, and that it was a mere waste of 
money to collect a number of men and animals without 
providing trained supervision. Fourteen hundred of our 
coolies were attached to the Commissariat Department with- 
out anyone to look after them, consequently officers and 
non-commissioned officers, who could ill be spared from 
their regimental duties, had to be told off to organize and 
work them. 

To add to our troubles, cholera broke out amongst some 
Nepalese coolies on their way to join us; out of 840, 
251 died in a few days, and a number deserted panic-stricken, 
while the rest were so weakened and shaken that, notwith- 
standing the care bestowed upon them by their able and 
energetic Commandant. Major II. Moore, only 387 joined 
the column. We were not much better off in the matter 
of elephants, which had been so carelessly selected that 
only 33 out of the 157 sent with our column were of any 
use. All this resulted in our being obliged to still further 
reduce our already small kits. Officers were allowed only 
forty pounds of baggage, and soldiers twenty-four pounds, 
limits within which it was rather difficult to keep. A couple 
of blankets were essential, as we should have to operate 
over mountains five and six thousand feet high ; so was a 
waterproof sheet, for even if we should be lucky enough to 
escape rain, the dew is so heavy in those parts that it wets 
one just as thoroughly as a shower of rain. These three 
items, with my cloak and cork mattress — which is also a 


very necessary adjunct in such a damp climate — amounted 
to thirty-one pounds, leaving only nine pounds for a 
change of clothes, plate, knife, fork, etc. — not too much 
for a four months' campaign. However, 'needs must,' and 
it is surprising how many things one considers absolute 
necessities under ordinary circumstances turn out to have 
been luxuries when we are obliged to dispense with them. 

The advance portion of the column did not arrive at 
Tipai Mukh, only eighty-four miles from Cachar, until the 
9th December, which will give an idea of the enforced 
slowness of our progress. Tipai Mukh proved a very 
suitable place for our depot: it was situated at the junction 
of two rivers, the Tipai and the Barak ; thickly-wooded 
hills rose precipitously on all sides, but on the right bank 
of the Barak there was sufficient level space for all our 
requirements. With the help of local coolies, the little 
Gurkhas were not long in running up hospitals and store- 
sheds ; bamboo, the one material used in Lushailand for 
every conceivable purpose, whether it be a house, a drinking 
vessel, a bridge, a woman's ear-ring, or a musical instru- 
ment, grew in profusion on the hillside. A trestle bridge 
was thrown across the Tipai in a few hours, and about that 
bridge I have rather an amusing story to relate. On my 
telling the young Engineer officer in charge of the Sapper 
company that a bridge was required to be constructed with 
the least possible delay, he replied that it should be done, 
but that it was necessary to calculate the force of the 
current, the weight to be borne, and the consequent 
strength of the timber required. Off he went, urged by 
me to be as quick as he could. Some hours elapsed, and 
nothing was seen of the Engineer, so I sent for him and 


asked him when the bridge was to be begun. He 
answered that his plans were nearly completed, and 
that he would soon be able to commence work. In the 
meantime, however, and while these scientific calculations 
were being made, the headman of the local coolies had 
come to me and said, if the order were given, he would 
throw a good bridge over the river in no time. I agreed, 
knowing how clever Natives often are at this kind of work, 
and thinking I might just as well have two strings to this 
particular bow. Immediately, numbers of men were to be 
seen felling the bamboos on the hillside a short distance 
above the stream ; these were thrown into the river, and 
as they came floating down they were caught by men 
standing up to their necks in water, who cut them to the 
required length, stuck the uprights into the river-bed, and 
attached them to each other by pieces laid laterally and 
longitudinally ; the flooring was then formed also of 
bamboo, the whole structure was firmly bound together 
by strips of cane, and the bridge was pronounced ready. 
Having tested its strength by marching a large number of 
men across it, I sent for my Engineer friend. His astonish- 
ment on seeing a bridge finished ready for use was great, 
and became still greater when he found how admirably 
the practical woodmen had done their work; from that 
time, being assured of their ability to assist him, he wisely 
availed himself when difficulties arose of their useful, if 
unscientific, method of engineering. 

By the 14th December matters had so far progressed 
as to warrant an advance. As our route now lay away 
from the river, scarcity of water entailed greater care 
being taken in the selection of encamping grounds, so 


on arriving at our halting - place each day I had to 
reconnoitre ahead for a suitable site for our next rest- 
ing-ground, a considerable addition to the day's work. 
Koad-making for the passage of the elephants became 
more difficult, and transport was so deficient that the 
troops could only be brought up very gradually. Thus, 
it was the 22nd of the month before we reached the 
Tuibum river, only twenty miles from Tipai Mukh. On 
our way we were met by some scouts from the villages 
ahead of us, who implored of us to advance no further, 
saying, if we would only halt, their headmen would 
come in and submit to whatever terms we chose to 
make. The villagers were informed in reply that our 
quarrel was not with them, and so long as we remained 
unmolested, not the slightest injury should be done to 
them, their villages, or their crops; but that we were 
determined to reach the country of Lalbura, the Chief 
who had been the ringleader in the raids upon the 

We pushed on as fast as the dense undergrowth would 
permit until within about a mile of the river, where we 
found the road blocked by a curious erection in the form of 
a gallows, from which hung two grotesque figures, made 
of bamboo. A little further on it was a felled tree 
which stopped us; this tree was studded all over with 
knife-like pieces of bamboo, and from the incisions into 
which these were stuck exuded a red juice, exactly 
the colour of blood. This was the Lushai mode of warn- 
ing us what would be our fate if we ventured further. 
We, however, proceeded on our way, bivouacked for the 
night, and early the next morning started off in the 

1871] A SEVERE MARCH 6 1 

direction of some villages which we understood lay in 
the road to our destination. 

For the first thousand feet the ascent was very steep, 
and the path so narrow that we could only march in 
single file. Suddenly we entered upon a piece of ground 
cleared for cultivation, and as we emerged from the forest 
we were received by a volley from a position about sixty 
yards off. A young police orderly, who was acting as our 
guide, was knocked over by my side, and a second volley 
wounded one of the sepoys, on which we charged and 
the enemy retired up the hill. We came across a large 
number of these jooms (clearings), and at each there was a 
like effort to oppose us, always with the same result. After 
advancing in this way for the greater part of the day, alter- 
nately through dense jungle and open spaces, and occa- 
sionally passing by scattered cottages, we sighted a good- 
sized village, where it was decided we should remain for the 
night. The day's march had been very severe, the village 
being 4,000 feet above the river ; and the troops were so 
worn out with their exertions that it was with difficulty 
the piquets could be got to construct proper shelter for 
themselves out of the plentiful supply of trees and under- 
wood ready at hand. Throughout the night the enemy's 
sharpshooters kept up an annoying fire under cover of 
the forest which surrounded the village, and so as soon as 
day dawned a party moved out to clear the ground all 

It was most aggravating to find from the view we got 
of the country from this elevated position that the previous 
day's harassing march had been an absolutely useless per- 
formance and an unnecessary waste of time and strength. 


We could now distinctly see that this village did not lead to 
Lalbura's country, as we had been led to believe it would, 
and that there was no alternative but to retrace our steps 
as far as the river. The men and animals were too tired 
to march that day, and the next being Christmas, we made 
another halt, and commenced our retirement on the 26th. 
This was an extremely nasty business, and had to be carried 
out with very great caution. The ground, as I said before, 
necessitated our proceeding in single file, and with only 250 
fighting men (all that our deficient transport admitted of 
being brought on to this point) it was difficult to guard 
the long line of sick, wounded, and coolies. As soon as we 
began to draw in our piquets, the Lushais, who had never 
ceased their fire, perceiving we were about to retire, came 
down in force, and entered one end of the village, yelling 
and screaming like demons, before we had got out at the 
other. The whole way down the hill they pressed us 
hard, endeavouring to get amongst the baggage, but were 
invariably baffled by the Gurkhas, who, extending rapidly 
whenever the ground was favourable, retired through their 
supports in admirable order, and did not once give the enemy 
the chance of passing them. We had 3 men killed and 
8 wounded during the march, but the Lushais confessed 
afterwards to a loss of between 50 and 60. 

As we were given to understand that our short retro- 
grade movement had been interpreted into a defeat by 
the Lushais, the General wisely determined to pay the 
village of Kholel another visit. Our doing so had the best 
possible effect. A slight resistance was offered at the first 
clearance, but by the time the ridge was reached the Chief, 
having become convinced of the uselessness of further 


opposition, submitted, and engaged to give hostages and 
keep open communication with our depot at Tipai Mukh, a 
promise which he most faithfully performed. 

1872 opened auspiciously for me. On New Year's Day I 
was agreeably surprised by s communication from the 
Quartermaster-General informing me that, a vacancy having 
unexpectedly occurred, Lord Napier had appointed me 
Deputy-Quartermaster-General. This was an important 
step in my department, and I was proportionately elated. 

A few days later I received the good news of the birth of 
a son at Umballa on the 8th. 

Paucity of transport and difficulty about supplies kept 
us stationary on the Tuibum for some time, after which we 
moved on as before, the Lushais retiring in front of us until 
the 25th, when they attacked us while we were moving 
along a narrow ravine, with a stream at the bottom and 
steep hills on either side. The first volley wounded the 
General in the arm and hand, and killed his orderly. The 
enemy's intention was evidently to push past the weak 
column along the hillside and get amongst the coolies ; 
but this attempt was again foiled by the Gurkhas, who, 
flinging off their great-coats, rushed into the stream and 
engaged the Lushais before they could get at the baggage, 
pressing them up the mountain, rising 2,500 feet above 
us, as fast as the precipitous nature of the ascent would 
allow. On the crest we found the enemy occupying a 
good-sized village, out of which we cleared them and took 
possession of it ourselves. On this occasion we had only 
4 killed and 8 wounded, including the General, while 
the enemy lost about 60. In one place we found a 
heap of headless bodies. The Lushais, if unable to remove 


their dead, invariably decapitate them to prevent their 
adversaries from carrying off the heads, their own mode of 
dealing with a slain enemy, as they believe that whoever 
is in possession of the head will have the man to whom 
it belonged as a slave in the next world. 

To complete the success we had gained, the General sent 
me the next day with a small party to burn the village of 
Taikum, belonging to the people who had attacked us. It 
was past noon before we could make a start, owing to the 
non-arrival of the elephants with the guns. When they 
did come in, the poor huge creatures were so fatigued by 
their climb that it was considered advisable to transfer 
their loads to coolies, particularly as the route we had to 
traverse was reported to be even more difficult than any- 
thing we had yet encountered. When we had proceeded a 
short distance, we perceived that our way was blocked a 
mile ahead by a most formidable-looking stockade, on one 
side of which rose perpendicular cliffs, while on the 
other was a rocky ravine. As the nature of the ground 
did not admit of my approaching near enough to discover 
whether the Artillery could be placed so as to cover the 
Infantry advance, and being anxious to avoid losing many 
of my small party, I settled to turn the stockade by a 
detour up the hillside. This manoeuvre took some time, 
owing to the uncompromising nature of the country ; but it 
was successful, for when we struck the track, we found our- 
selves about a mile on the other side of the stockade. The 
Lushais, on realizing what we were about, retired to 
Taikum, which place came into view at 5 p.m. It was 
situated on the summit of a hill 1,200 yards in front, and 
was crowded with men. The guns were brought at once into 


action, and while Captain Blackwood* was preparing his 
fuses, I advanced towards the village with the Infantry. 
The first shell burst a little beyond the village, the second 
was lodged in its very centre, for a time completely paralyz- 
ing the Lushais. On recovering from the shock, they took 
to their heels and scampered off in every direction, the last 
man leaving the village just as we entered it. The houses, 
as usual, were made of bamboo, and after it had been ascer- 
tained that there was no living creature inside any of them, 
the place was set on fire, and we began our return journey. 
There was a bright moon, but even aided by its light we 
did not reach our bivouac until midnight. This ended 
the campaign so far as opposition was concerned, for not 
another shot was fired either by us or against us during the 
remaining six weeks we continued in the country. 

Soon after this we heard that some of the captives we 
had come to relieve had been given up to the Chittagong 
column, and that Mary Winchester was safe in General 
Brownlow's hands — very satisfactory intelligence, showing 
as it did that the Lushais were beginning to understand 
the advisability of acceding to our demands. The work of 
our column, however, was not over, for although, from 
the information we received of his whereabouts, we had 
given up hope of joining hands with Brownlow, Bouchier 
determined that Lalbura's country must be reached ; he 
(Lalbura) being the chief offender, it would never have done 
to let him think his stronghold lay beyond our power. 

In order that we might be well out of Lushailand before 
the rains, which usually begin in that part of the world 

* Major Blackwood, who was killed at Maiwand, in command of 
E Battery, E.H.A. 

VOL. II. 37 



about the middle of March, and are extremely heavy, it was 
decided not to wait until a road could be made for 
elephants, but to trust to coolie-carriage alone, and to push 
on rapidly as soon as supplies sufficient for twelve days 
could be collected. Kits were still further reduced, officers 
and soldiers alike being only allowed a couple of blankets 
and one or two cooking utensils. 

We resumed our march on the 12th February ; the route 
in many places was strongly and skilfully stockaded, but the 
tidings of our successes had preceded us, and our advance 
was unopposed. In five days we reached the Chamfai 
valley, at the end of which, on a high hill, Lalbura's 
village was situated.* Although Lalbura's father, Yonolel, 
had been dead some years, the people still called the place 
Vonolel's country. Yonolel had been a famous warrior, and 
they were evidently very proud of his reputation. We were 
shown his tomb, which, like that of all great Lushai braves, 
was decorated with the heads of human beings (his slaves 
in paradise) and those of animals, besides drinking-vessels 
and various kinds of utensils for his use in another life. 

Lalbura had taken himself off; but his headmen sub- 
mitted to us and accepted our terms. We remained at this 
place till the 21st, in accordance with an agreement we 
had made with Brownlow to send up signals on the night 
of the 20th in case his column should be anywhere in 
the neighbourhood. During the three days we stayed 
amongst them we mixed freely with the Lushais, who were 
greatly delighted and astonished with all we had to show 
them. The telescope and the burning-glass amused them 

* Latitude 23° 26' 32", longitude (approximately) 93° 25' ; within a 
short distance of Fort White, lately built in the Chin Hills. 


greatly ; our revolvers excited their envy ; and for the little 
Mountain guns they displayed the highest veneration. But 
what seemed to astonish them more than anything was 
the whiteness of our skins, particularly when on closer 
inspection they discovered that our arms and bodies were 
even fairer than our faces and hands, which to our eyes 
had become from long exposure so bronzed as to make us 
almost unrecognizable as Europeans. 

We were all glad that the duty entrusted to us had been 
satisfactorily ended, and we were hoping that the Viceroy, 
who had taken a keen personal interest in our proceedings, 
would be satisfied with the result, when we were shocked 
and startled beyond measure by hearing that Lord 
Mayo had been murdered by a convict while visiting the 
Andaman Islands. The disastrous news arrived as we were 
in the midst of firing signal-rockets, burning blue-lights, and 
lighting bonfires to attract the attention of the Chittagong 
column. I could not help thinking of the heavy loss India 
had sustained, for the manly, open-hearted Governor- 
General had impressed the Native Chiefs in quite an ex- 
ceptional manner, and he was liked as well as respected 
by all classes of Europeans and Natives. I felt also much 
for Donald Stewart, to whom, I knew, such a terrible 
tragedy, happening while he was Superintendent at Port 
Blair, would be a heavy blow. 

On the 6th March we reached Tipai Mukh, where we 
bade farewell to our Lushai friends, numbers of whom 
accompanied us to get possession of the empty tins, bags, 
and casks which were got rid of at every stage. The 
hostages and those who had assisted us were liberally 
rewarded, and we parted on the best of terms, with pro- 


mises on their part of future good behaviour — promises 
which were kept for nearly twenty years. 

No one was sorry that the marching was at an end, and 
that the rest of the journey back was to be performed in 
boats. Constant hard work and exposure in a peculiarly 
malarious and relaxing climate had told upon the whole 
force ; while our having to depend for so long on tinned 
meats, which were not always good, and consisted chiefly 
of pork, with an occasional ration of mutton and salt beef, 
had been very trying to the officers. One and all were ' com- 
pletely worn out,' as the principal medical officer reported ; 
two out of our small number died, and the General's con- 
dition gave cause for grave anxiety. For myself, having 
a perfect horror of pork, I think I should have starved 
outright but for the extraordinary culinary talent of Mr. 
Edgar, who disguised the presence of the unclean animal 
in such a wonderful way in soups, stews, etc., that I fre- 
quently partook of it without knowing what I was eating. 
My wife and some anonymous kind friend sent by post 
small tins of Liebig's extract, which were highly appreciated. 

Cholera pursued us up to and beyond Cachar ; the 
wretched coolies suffered most, and it is a disease to 
which Gurkhas are peculiarly susceptible, while a feast on 
a village pig from time to time probably helped to make 
matters worse for them. Many of these grand little 
soldiers and some of the Sikhs also fell victims to the 
scourge. My orderly, a very smart young Gurkha, to my 
great regret, was seized with it the day after I reached 
Cachar, and died next morning. 

On my way to Simla, I spent a few days with Norman at 
Calcutta. The whole place was in mourning on account of 
the terrible catastrophe which had happened at Port Blair. 

[ 6 9 ] 


Lobd Napier of Murchiston, the Governor of Madras, had 
been summoned to Calcutta to act as Viceroy until Lord 
Northbrook, Lord Mayo's successor, should arrive. He 
seemed interested in what I had to tell him about Lushai, 
and Lord Napier of Magdala spoke in laudatory terms 
of the manner in which the expedition had been carried 

I reached Simla on the 1st of April, the twentieth anni- 
versary of my arrival in India. I found my wife, with the 
two children, settled in Snowdon,* a house I had recently 
purchased. She had had much trouble in my absence, 
having been at death's door herself, and having very nearly 
lost our little son at Umballa three weeks after his birth 
from a Native wet-nurse having tried to kill him. The 
English nurse's suspicions had been aroused by one day 
finding a live coal in the cradle, but she did not mention 
this discovery at the time for fear of frightening my wife ; 
but she determined to watch. A few days later, while with 
our little girl in the next room, she heard the baby boy 

* We lived in this house whenever we were in Simla, till we left 
it in 1892. It has since been bought by Government for the Com- 
mander-in-Chief's residence. 


choking, and rushed in to find, to her horror, blood on his 
lips, and that he was struggling violently, as if to get rid 
of something in his throat ! She pushed down her finger 
and pulled out a sharp piece of cane about two inches long; 
but other pieces had evidently gone down, for the poor 
little fellow was in terrible agony for many days. It 
turned out that the wretched woman hated the unwonted 
confinement of her new life, and was determined to get 
away, but was too much afraid of her husband to say so. 
He wanted her to remain for the sake of the high pay 
this class of servant receives, so it appeared to the woman 
that her only chance of freedom was to get rid of the 
child, and to carry out her purpose she first attempted to 
set fire to the cradle, and finding this did not succeed, she 
pulled some pieces of cane off the chair upon which she 
was sitting, and shoved them down the child's throat. 
She was, as my wife described her, a pretty, innocent, 
timid-looking creature, to whom no one would ever 
have dreamt of attributing such an atrocity. The boy 
was made extremely delicate for several months by this 
misadventure, as his digestion had been ruined for the 
time being, but eventually he completely recovered from 
its effects. 

In September the C.B. was conferred upon me for the 
Lushai Expedition. Lord Napier informed me of the fact 
in a particularly kind little note. I was very proud of 
being a member of the Bath, although at the time a brevet 
would have been a more useful reward, as want of rank 
was the reason Lord Napier had given for not allowing me 
to act as Quartermaster-General, on Lumsden being tem- 
porarily appointed Besident at Hyderabad. 


We began our usual winter tour in the middle of October. 
At Mian Mir I made the acquaintance of the Adjutant of 
the 37th Foot, the late Sir Herbert Stewart, who was then 
a smart, good-looking subaltern, and I recollect his be- 
moaning bitterly his bad luck in never having had a chance 
of seeing service. How little at that time could it have 
been anticipated that within twelve years he would see 
hard fighting in Africa, and be killed as a Major-General 
in command of a column ! 

We visited several of the stations in the Punjab, and 
spent a few days at Jamu as guest of the Maharaja 
of Kashmir, who treated us royally, and gave us some 
excellent pig-sticking ; and on the 21st December we joined 
Head-Quarters at Lawrencepur for a large Camp of Exercise, 
to be held on the identical ground which I had selected 
for the camp which Sir Hugh Eose proposed to have eleven 
years before. 

Lord Napier of Magdala did much to improve the 
efficiency of the army by means of Camps of Exercise. He 
held one at Delhi in the winter of 1871-72, and the Camp 
of which I am writing was most successful and instructive. 
No Commander-in-Chief ever carried out inspections with 
more thoroughness than did Lord Napier of Magdala. He 
spared himself no trouble. On the hottest day he would 
toil through barrack after barrack to satisfy himself that 
the soldiers were properly cared for; Europeans and 
Natives were equally attended to, and many measures 
conducive to the men's comfort date from the time he was 
in command in India. ;i i 

At the close of this camp Lumsden, who had returned to 
his appointment from Hyderabad, gave up the Quarter- 


master- Generalship for "good. We had been greatly thrown 
together during the twenty-one years I had been in India, 
and my wife and I were very sorry to bid farewell to him 
and Mrs. Lumsden. He was succeeded by Edwin Johnson, 
pending whose arrival I was now allowed to officiate. 

From Lawrencepur I went with the Commander-in-Chief 
to Calcutta. Soon after we arrived there I was asked by 
Sir Douglas Forsyth to accompany him on his Mission to 
Yarkand and Kashgar. I should have much liked to have 
done so, for the idea of a trip to these, at that time unknown, 
regions possessed great fascinations for me. I was there- 
fore well pleased when Lord Napier told me he would not 
stand in the way of my going, and proportionately dis- 
appointed when, the next day, his Excellency said that 
on consideration he did not think I could be spared just 
then, for the Quartermaster-General would be new to 
the work at first, and he thought he would need my 

The end of April saw us back in Simla, and in July 
Edwin Johnson arrived. 

During the summer of 1873 important events occurred 
which had much to do with our subsequent relations with 
Afghanistan. The inquiries which Sher Ali had begged 
Lord Mayo to make about Persian encroachments in 
Sistan, had resulted in General Goldsmid* and Colonel 
Pollock t being deputed in 1871 to proceed to Sistan to 
decide the question. The settlement arrived at by these 
officers, which assigned to Afghanistan the country up 
to the right bank of the Helmand, but nothing beyond, 

* General Sir Frederick Goldsmid, K.C.M.G. 
f Major-General Sir Frederick Pollock, K.C.S.I. 


satisfied neither the Shah nor the Amir, and the latter 
sent his confidential minister, Saiyad Nur Mahomed, the 
Afghan Commissioner in the Sistan arbitration, to meet 
Lord Northbrook on his arrival in Bombay for the purpose 
of appealing to him against the decision. It could not, 
however, be reversed ; but in a subsequent interview which 
the new Viceroy accorded the Envoy, the latter was told 
that as soon as Persia and Afghanistan had signified their 
acceptance of the settlement, the Government of India 
would present the Amir with five lakhs of rupees as com- 
pensation for the ceded territory which had for a time 
belonged to Afghanistan. 

The action of her Majesty's Ministers in communica- 
tion with Eussia regarding the northern boundary of 
Afghanistan was another matter about which the Amir was 
greatly exercised ; and Lord Northbrook, thinking that all 
such vexed questions could be more satisfactorily explained 
by personal communication than by letter, proposed to 
the Amir that His Highness should consent to receive 
at Kabul a British officer ' of high rank and dignity, in 
whom I have full confidence ' (Mr. Macnabb),* ' who will 
also explain to Your Highness,' wrote the Viceroy,*' the 
negotiations which have now been satisfactorily concluded 
with the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of 
Kussia, whereby the Bussian Government have agreed to 
recognize and respect the integrity and independence of 
the territories now in your Highness's possession.' 

To this request Sher Ali replied that he considered it 
advisable that one of his agents should first wait on the 
Viceroy to ascertain the real views of the British Govern- 

* Sir Donald Macnabb, K.C.S.I., then Commissioner of Peshawar. 


ment on these important matters. This was agreed to, and 
Saiyad Nur Mahomed was again selected to represent the 
Amir. He reached Simla towards the end of June. On 
being informed that Persia had unreservedly accepted the 
decision as to the Sistan question, the Envoy declared that, 
whatever opinion the Amir might hold as to his rights, His 
Highness would also scrupulously respect that decision. 
With regard to the northern frontier, the Envoy begged it 
to be clearly understood that the Afghan Government wished 
to be allowed to make their own laws and follow their own 
customs within their territories ; that the internal affairs of 
the country should be free from interference ; and that the 
acknowledgment by Kussia of the Amir's claim to land 
south of the Oxus should be confirmed by Bokhara. He 
further requested ' that the British Government would dis- 
tinctly promise that, in the event of any aggression on the 
Amir's territories, they would consider the perpetrator of 
such aggression as their own enemy.' It was explained to 
the Saiyad that the British Government did not share the 
Amir's apprehension of Eussia ; that under such circum- 
stances as he contemplated, it would be the duty of the 
Amir to refer to the British Government, who would 
decide whether it was an occasion for assistance to be 
rendered by them, and what the nature and extent of 
the assistance should be ; moreover, that their help must 
be conditional upon the Amir himself abstaining from 
aggression, and on his unreserved acceptance of the 
advice of the British Government in regard to his external 

Two other questions were discussed : 

(1) The location in certain towns in Afghanistan of 


British officers as representatives of the British Govern- 

(2) The present assistance to be rendered to the Amir 
for the purpose of strengthening his country against foreign 

On the first point the Envoy said he had no instructions, 
but that, in his opinion, to ask Sher Ali to allow British 
officers to be located in Afghanistan would give rise to 
mistrust and apprehension. He recommended that a 
letter should be addressed to the Amir, pointing out the 
desirability of a British officer being sent to inspect the 
western and northern boundaries of Afghanistan, pro- 
ceeding via Kandahar and returning via Kabul, where he 
might confer personally with His Highness. This sug- 
gestion was carried out. 

With regard to the second point under discussion, the 
Envoy stated that 20,000 stand-of-arms were desired, laying 
very particular stress on 5,000 Sniders being included in 
this number, and that hopes were entertained by the Amir 
that he would be largely assisted with money. In answer 
to this, the Saiyad was told that there was not then a suf- 
ficient reserve supply of Sniders for the English troops in 
India, and that it was impossible to spare more than 5,000 
Enfields ; that this number should at once be placed at 
the Amir's disposal, and that the remainder should be 
forwarded as soon as they were received from England. 
He was further informed that five lakhs of rupees (ex- 
clusive of the five lakhs promised the year before, as 
indemnification for the loss of territory) would be given 
to Sher Ali. 

A final letter from the Viceroy was sent to the Amir through 


Saiyad Nur Mahomed, dated 6th September, 1873, summing 
up the result of the conference. His Highness was told, with 
reference to a fear expressed by the Envoy lest Eussia should 
press for the establishment of a Eussian Mission and agents 
in Afghanistan, that Prince Gortschakoff had officially in- 
timated that, while he saw no objection to British officers 
going to Kabul, he engaged that Eussian agents should 
abstain from doing so, and that, far from apprehending a 
Eussian invasion of Afghanistan, the British Government 
believed that the effect of the recent arrangements had 
been to render the occurrence of such a contingency more 
remote than ever. At the same time, being desirous of 
seeing the Amir strong and his rule firmly established, the 
Government were prepared to give him any reasonable 

Sher Ali was greatly annoyed and disappointed at the 
result of his Envoy's visit to Simla. He was of a very 
impulsive, passionate disposition ; his reply to the Viceroy's 
letter was discourteous and sarcastic ; he declined to receive 
a British officer at Kabul, and although he condescended 
to accept the arms presented to him, he left the ten lakhs 
of rupees untouched in the Peshawar treasury. Colonel 
Valentine Baker, who was at that time travelling through 
Central Asia, was forbidden by the Amir to pass through 
Afghanistan on his way to India ; and a few months later 
he refused to allow Sir Douglas Forsyth's Mission to return 
to India by way of Afghanistan. 

[ 77 ] 


In the beginning of October my wife and I started for a 
fortnight's trip to the top of the Chor, a fine mountain sixty- 
two miles from Simla, and close on 12,000 feet high. We 
were accompanied by a very dear friend of ours — now 
no more — Colonel Baigrie, who was soon afterwards made 
Quartermaster-General in Bombay. He was a talented 
artist and delightful companion, and notwithstanding the 
old adage that two are company and three none, we three 
enjoyed our holiday immensely. 

After crossing a stream called the Ghiri, below Fagu, 
the road passes through beautiful forest and cliff scenery, 
and for the most part was fairly easy, until the foot of the 
mountain was reached about six miles from the top, when 
it became very precipitous and difficult. We were the 
whole day doing this march, breakfasting in one place and 
lunching in another higher up. There was a good deal of 
snow in the shady spots. A few days before we had noticed 
that the top of the mountain was white, but the sun was 
still too strong in the daytime for the snow to lie long in 
exposed parts. The way being too steep for my wife to 
ride or go in a dandy, we all three walked, or rather 


climbed, up to the shoulder where our tents were pitched, 
about a mile from the summit. 

The forest through which we passed was very beauti- 
ful, commencing with dark-green ilex, glistening holly, 
and sombre brown oak, interspersed with groups of 
the dainty, graceful, white- stemmed birch, and wreathed 
with festoons of the scarlet Himalayan vine. As we 
mounted higher, trees became fewer and the foliage less 
luxuriant, till at length only oaks were to be seen, their 
branches twisted into all sorts of weird, fantastic shapes 
from the strength of the south-west monsoon. Huge 
rocks became more frequent, covered with lichens and 
mosses of every shade, from dark-green to brilliant crimson. 
At length trees and shrubs were left behind, except the 
red-berried juniper, which grows at a higher elevation 
here than any other bush, and flourishes in the clefts of 
the rocks, where nothing else will exist. We got up in 
time to see the most glorious sunset ; the colours were 
more wonderful than anything I had ever seen before, even 
in India. My wife urged Baigrie to make a rough sketch, 
and *note the tints, that he might paint a picture of it 
later. He made the sketch, saying : ' If I attempted to 
represent truly what we see before us, the painting would 
be rejected by the good people at home as absurdly unreal, 
or as the work of a hopeless lunatic' There was such 
a high wind that our small tents had a narrow escape 
of being blown away. That night the water was frozen in 
our jugs, and it was quite impossible to keep warm. 

We were up betimes the next morning, and climbed to 
the highest peak, where we found breakfast awaiting us 
and a magnificent view of the Himalayan ranges, right 


down to the plains on one side and up to the perpetual 
snows on the others. We descended to the foot of the 
mountain in the afternoon, and then returned, march by 
march, to Simla. 

Towards the end of the month Lord Napier began his 
winter tour, visiting the hill stations first. At Chakrata 
I made the acquaintance of the 92nd Highlanders, that 
distinguished corps which stood me in such good stead a 
few years later in Afghanistan. At the end of November 
we found ourselves at Lucknow, in time to take part in 
Lord Northbrook's state entry, and be present at a fete 
given to the Viceroy in the Wingfield Park by Sir George 
Cooper, the Chief Commissioner. 

From Lucknow we went for a brief visit to a small 
Camp of Exercise near Kurki, where Lord Napier left the 
Adjutant-General, Thesiger,* in command, while he himself 
proceeded to visit some of the stations in the Madras 
Presidency, and I returned for a short time to Simla. 

While riding up the hill from Kalka, I had a novel 
experience. One of those tremendous thunder-storms 
which are not uncommon in the Himalayas came on ; the 
rain was blinding and incessant, and the peals of thunder 
were simultaneous with the lightning. At last there was 
a tremendous crash ; a flash, more vivid than the rest, 
passed right in front of my horse's head, accompanied by 
a whizzing noise and a sulphurous smell, completely blind- 
ing me for a second. Two Natives travelling a few yards 
ahead of me fell flat on their faces, and I thought they 
were killed, but it turned out they were only knocked over 
and very much frightened. 

* Now General Lord Chelmsford, G.C.B. 



Early in January, 1874, we received by telegram the 
infinitely sad news of my father's death. We ought, I 
suppose, to have been prepared for such an event, seeing 
that he was within a few months of his ninetieth birthday ; 
but he was so well and active, and took such a keen interest 
in all that was going on, especially anything connected with 
India, that we hardly realized his great age, and always 
hoped we might see him once more. He had received 
the G.C.B. from Her Majesty's hands at Windsor on the 
8th December, and two days afterwards he wrote me an 
account of the ceremony, and expressed himself much 
pleased and gratified at the Queen's gracious manner to him. 
He said nothing about his health, but we heard later that 
he had taken cold in the train on his way home, and never 
recovered from the effects ; he died on the 30th of December. 
His love for India had not been weakened by his twenty years' 
absence from the country, and he never wearied of being 
told of the wonderful changes which had taken place since 
his day — changes which, for the most part, dated from the 
Mutiny, for up till 1857 life in India was much the same as 
when my father first landed in the beginning of the century. 

A continued drought in Behar was at this time causing 
grave fears of a famine, such as from time to time had 
desolated various parts of India. Nine years before such 
a drought, and the absence of means of communication, 
which prevented grain being thrown into the famine- 
stricken districts in sufficient quantities, resulted in one- 
fourth of the population of Orissa being carried cff by 
starvation, or disease consequent on starvation. So on 
this occasion Lord Northbrook was determined, at all 
costs, to ward off such a calamity. He sent Sir Richard 


Temple to Behar in the confident hope that his unbounded 
resource and energy would enable him to cope with 
the difficulties of the situation, a hope that was fully 
realized. Eelief works were at once commenced ; a trans- 
port train was quickly improvised, worked chiefly by 
military and police officers ; and one million tons of rice 
were distributed amongst the people. Not a life was lost, 
but the cost to the State was enormous — six millions and a 
half sterling. 

In the beginning of February I was ordered by Govern- 
ment to proceed to the famine districts to help Temple. I 
started at once ; but I had not been long in Behar before I 
was required to join the Commander-in-Chief in Calcutta, 
His Excellency having determined to nominate me Quarter- 
master-General, in succession to Johnson, who was about 
to become Adjutant-General. Being only a Lieutenant- 
Colonel in the army, I could not, according to the rules, 
be put at once permanently into the appointment, which 
carried with it the rank of Major-General. The difficulty 
was overcome, however, by my being allowed to officiate 
till the following January, when, in the ordinary course of 
promotion, I should become a Colonel. 

Lord Northbrook spent the summer of 1874 in Calcutta, 
in consequence of the famine necessities having to be met ; 
and as the Commander-in-Chief determined to follow his 
example, I took a house in Calcutta, and my wife joined 
me in the middle of March— rather a bad time of year to 
come down to the plains after spending the winter amongst 
the snows of Simla. But she did not fancy Simla in the 
season as a grass-widow, and had had quite enough of 
being alone. 

vol. ii. 38 


We continued in Calcutta until August, when the 
Head-Quarters returned to Simla, where we remained till 

We had a standing camp at Umballa during the winter 
of 1874-75, doing our inspections from there, and returning 
to the camp at intervals. There was the usual visit to 
Calcutta in March, towards the end of which month 
another daughter was born. 

In October, 1875, I spent some time at Delhi, arranging 
for the Camp of Exercise to be held there in January for 
His Eoyal Highness the Prince of Wales. The camp was 
formed in the beginning of December, and consisted of 
17,000 men, in four divisions, commanded by Major- 
Generals Sir Charles Eeid, Macdonnell, the Hon. Arthur 
Hardinge, and Donald Stewart. 

The country round Delhi is particularly well suited for 
extended manoeuvres, and full advantage was taken of the 
facilities it afforded during the two months the Camp of 
Exercise lasted. The Prince of Wales landed at Calcutta 
on the 23rd December ; and Lord Napier with his staff 
went down to meet His Eoyal Highness, whose reception 
was loyal and hearty to a degree. As the Serapis, with the 
Prince on board, steamed slowly up the Hughli, salutes 
were fired from Fort William and three ships of the Eoyal 
Navy. All the vessels in the river were gay with flags, 
their yards were manned, and good hearty English cheers 
resounded from stem to stern of each ship as the Indian 
troopship, carrying the heir to England's throne, came in 
sight. As soon as the Serapis was moored, the Viceroy 
went on board to greet the Prince and conduct His Eoyal 
Highness to the gaily- decorated landing-stage, where the 

v.- • ♦■>• 


principal officials, Native Princes, and chief inhabitants of 
Calcutta were assembled. Troops lined the road from the 
river to Government House, and the maidan (the great 
open space in front) was thronged with a dense crowd of 
Natives in their most brilliant gala attire, eager to catch a 
glimpse of the son of the great Queen of England. 

That evening Lord Northbrook gave a State banquet. 
The next day there was a reception of the Princes and 
Chiefs, followed by a levee, and after dark the whole place 
was most beautifully illuminated. The week that followed 
was taken up with entertainments of various kinds — balls, 
races, and garden-parties, interspersed with official visits — 
which I am afraid the Prince could not have found 
amusing — and on New Year's Day, 1876, His Eoyal High- 
ness held a Chapter of the Order of the Star of India, after 
which the Commander-in-Chief returned to Delhi to arrange 
to receive the Prince in that historical city on the 11th 

His Eoyal Highness's camp, and that of the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, were pitched on the ground occupied by 
the British army during the siege. The road, five miles 
in length, from the station to the camp was lined with 
troops, and on the Kidge itself were placed six Eifle corps, 
three of which had taken part in the siege.* The 2nd 
Gurkhas were very appropriately drawn up immediately 
under Hindu Eao's house, and when this point was 
reached, the Prince stopped and warmly complimented 
the men on the distinguished service the regiment had 

The next day there was a parade of all the troops in 

* 60th Rifles, 2nd Gurkhas, and 1st Punjab Infantry. 



review order for the inspection of the Prince, who was 
pleased to express his complete satisfaction and approval 
of ' the steadiness under arms, soldier-like bearing, and 
precision of movement, which distinguish the corps of the 
three armies assembled at the camp at Delhi.' 

That evening the Prince was present at a ball in the 
diwan-i-khas (private audience hall) in the palace, given 
in His Koyal Highness's honour by the officers of the 

The next few days were taken up with manoeuvres, 
which the Prince attended, accompanied by Lumsden* and 
myself. The defence was commanded by Eeid, the attack 
by Hardinge, the latter' s object being to gain possession of 
the Eidge, with a view to future operations against the city 
on the arrival of the main army from the Punjab. But 
the attack did not meet with the success which attended 
Barnard in 1857, while the Commander of the defence 
proved himself as skilful in protecting the Ridge against 
an enemy advancing from the north as he had been, 
twenty years before, in repulsing one coming from the 
opposite direction. 

The Prince of Wales held another investiture of the Star 
of India on the 7th of March at Allahabad, which Lord 
Napier and the staff attended. At its close we took our 
leave of His Royal Highness, who started that night for 

In less than a fortnight our dear old Chief followed, and 
I saw him off from Bombay on the 10th April. I was very 
low at parting with him, for though in the earlier days of 

* Lumsden returned to Head- Quarters as Adjutant-General on Edwin 
Johnson being appointed a member of the Indian Council in London. 

5)1F In!-- 

"2 1 )dey& Son-. 1897. 


our acquaintance I used to think he was not very favour- 
ably disposed towards me, when I became more intimately 
associated with him nothing could exceed his kindness. He 
was universally regretted by Europeans and Natives alike. 
The soldiers recognized that he had carefully guarded their 
interests and worked for their welfare, and the Native 
Princes and people felt that he was in sympathy with 
them, and to this day they speak of Lat Napier Sahib with 
the deepest respect and affection. 

Lord Napier was succeeded in the command by Sir 
Frederick Haines. 

[ 86] 


With a new Commander-in-Chief came a new Viceroy, and 
it was while we were in Bombay seeing the last of Lord 
Napier that the Orontes steamed into the harbour with 
Lord Lytton on board. LittJe did I imagine when making 
Lord Lytton' s acquaintance how much he would have to 
say to my future career. 

His Excellency received me very kindly, telling me he 
felt that I was not altogether a stranger, as he had been 
reading during the voyage a paper I had written for Lord 
Napier, a year or two before, on our military position in 
India, and the arrangements that would be necessary in 
the event of Russia attempting to continue her advance 
south of the Oxus. Lord Napier had sent a copy of this 
memorandum to Lord Beaconsfield, by whom it had been 
given to Lord Lytton. 

During the summer of 1876 our frontier policy was 
frequently under discussion. Sir Bartle Frere wrote two 
very strong letters after the Conservative Government 
came into power in 1874, drawing attention to the danger 
of our being satisfied with a policy ■ of aloofness, and 
pointing out the necessity for coming into closer relations 
with the Amir of Afghanistan and the Khan of Khelat. 


Soon afterwards the Secretary of State communicated with 
the Government of India as to the advisability of establish- 
ing British agents in Afghanistan, and of persuading the 
Amir to receive a temporary Embassy at Kabul, as had 
originally been proposed by Lord Northbrook. 

The members of Lord Northbrook' s Council were 
unanimously opposed to both these proposals, but they 
did not succeed in convincing Lord Salisbury "that the 
measures were undesirable ; and on the resignation of 
Lord Northbrook, the new Viceroy was furnished with 
special instructions as to the action which Her Majesty's 
Government considered necessary in consequence of the 
activity of Eussia in Central Asia, and the impossibility of 
obtaining accurate information of what was going on in 
and beyond Afghanistan. 

The question of the Embassy was dealt with at once ; 
Lord Lytton directed a letter to be sent to the Amir 
announcing his assumption of the Viceroyalty, and his 
intention to depute Sir Lewis Pelly to proceed to Kabul 
for the purpose of discussing certain matters with His 

To this communication a most unsatisfactory reply was 
received, and a second letter was addressed to the Amir, 
in which he was informed that, should he still decline to 
receive the Viceroy's Envoy after deliberately weighing all 
the considerations commended to his serious attention, the 
responsibility of the result would rest entirely on the 
Government of Afghanistan, which would thus alienate 
itself from the alliance of that Power which was most 
disposed and best able to befriend it. 

This letter was the cause of considerable excitement in 


Kabul, excitement which ran so high that the necessity for 
proclaiming a religious war was mooted ; and, to compli- 
cate matters, the Amir at this time received overtures 
from General Kauffmann, the Eussian Governor-General 
in Turkestan. 

A delay of six weeks occurred before Sher Ali replied to 
Lord Lytton's letter, and then he altogether ignored the 
Viceroy's proposal to send a Mission to Kabul, merely 
suggesting that the British Government should receive 
an Envoy from him, or that representatives from both 
countries should meet and hold a conference on the border, 
or, as another alternative, that the British Native Agent at 
Kabul should return and discuss affairs with the Viceroy. 

The last suggestion was accepted by the Government of 
India, and the agent (Nawab Ata Mahomed Khan) arrived 
in Simla early in October. The Nawab gave it as his 
opinion that the Amir's attitude of estrangement was due 
to an accumulation of grievances, the chief of which were 
— the unfavourable arbitration in the Sistan dispute ; the 
want of success of Saiyad Nur Mahomed's mission to India 
in 1873, when it was the desire of the Amir's heart to 
enter into an offensive and defensive alliance with the 
British Government ; the interposition of Lord North- 
brook's Government on behalf of Yakub Khan ;* the 
recent proceedings in Khelat,! which the Amir thought 
were bringing us objectionably near Kandahar ; the trans- 

* The Amir's eldest son, who had rebelled on his younger brother, 
Abdulla Jan, being nominated heir to the throne.* 

f Before Lord Northbrook left India he sent Major Sandeman on a 
Mission to Khelat to re-open the Bolan Pass, and endeavour to settle the 
differences between the Khan and the Baluchistan tribes, and between 
the tribes themselves, who were all at loggerheads. 


mission of presents through Afghanistan, to his vassal, 
the Mir of Wakhan, without the Amir's permission ;* and, 
above all, the conviction that our policy was exclusively 
directed to the furtherance of British interests without any 
thought for those of Afghanistan. 

As regarded the proposed Mission to Kabul, the Envoy 
said that His Highness objected to it for many reasons. 
Owing to local fanaticism, he could not insure its safety, 
and it seemed probable that, though of a temporary nature 
to begin with ? it might only be the thin end of the wedge 
ending in the establishment of a permanent Eesident, as 
at the courts of the Native Kulers in India. Furthermore, 
the Amir conceived that, if he consented to this Mission, 
the Kussians would insist upon their right to send a similar 
one, and finally, he feared a British Envoy might bring 
his influence to bear in favour of the release of his son, 
Yakub Khan, with whom his relations were as strained as 

In answer, the Viceroy enumerated the concessions he 
was prepared to make, and the conditions upon which alone 
he would consent to them ; and this answer the agent was 
directed to communicate to the Amir : 

The concessions were as follows : 

(1) That the friends and enemies of either State should 
be those of the other. 

(2) That, in the event of unprovoked aggression upon 
Afghanistan from without, assistance should be afforded in 
men, money, and arms ; and also that to strengthen the 

* Presents given by the British Government to the Mir of Wakhan in 
recognition of his hospitable reception of the members of the Forsyth 
Mission on their return from Yarkund. 


Amir against such aggression, the British Government was 
willing to fortify Herat and other points on the frontier, 
and, if desired, to lend officers to discipline the army. 

(3) That Abdulla Jan should be recognized as the Amir's 
successor to the exclusion of any other aspirant ; and that 
the question of material aid in support of such recognition 
should be discussed by the Plenipotentiaries. 

(4) That a yearly subsidy should be paid to the Amir on 
the following conditions : 

That he should refrain from external aggression or provo- 
cation of his neighbours, and from entering into external 
relations without our knowledge. 

That he should decline all communication with Kussia, 
and refer her agents to us. 

That British agents should reside at Herat and else- 
where on the frontier. 

That a mixed commission of British and Afghan officers 
should determine and demarcate the Amir's frontier. 

That arrangements should be made, by allowances or 
otherwise, for free circulation of trade on the principal 
trade routes. 

That similar arrangements should be made for a line of 
telegraph, the direction of which was to be subsequently 

That Afghanistan should be freely opened to Englishmen, 
official and non-official, and arrangements made by the 
Amir, as far as practicable, for their safety, though His 
Highness would not be absolutely held responsible for 
isolated accidents. 

The Viceroy concluded by suggesting that, if the Amir 
agreed to these proposals, a treaty might be arranged 


between the agents of the respective Governments, and rati- 
fied either at Peshawar, by the Amir meeting Lord Lytton 
there, or at Delhi if the Amir accepted His Excellency's 
invitation to be present at the Imperial Assemblage. 

The Amir at the time vouchsafed no reply whatever to 
these proposals or to the invitation to come to Delhi. 

In the autumn of 1876 preparations were commenced 
for the ' Imperial Assemblage,' which it was announced 
by the Viceroy would be held at Delhi on the first day of 
January, 1877, for the purpose of proclaiming to the 
Queen's subjects throughout India the assumption by 
Her Majesty of the title of 'Empress of India.' To this 
Assemblage Lord Lytton further announced that he pro- 
posed * to invite the Governors, Lieutenant-Governors, and 
Heads of Administration from all parts of the Queen's Indian 
dominions, as well as the Princes, Chiefs, and Nobles in 
whose persons the antiquity of the past is associated with 
the prosperity of the present, and who so worthily con- 
tribute to the splendour and stability of this great 

Delhi was selected as the place where the meeting 
between the Queen's representative and the great nobles 
of India could most appropriately be held, and a com- 
mittee was appointed to make the necessary arrangements. 
As a member of the committee I was deputed to proceed 
to Delhi, settle about the sites for the camps, and carry 
out all details in communication with the local authorities. 
The Viceroy impressed upon me that the Assemblage was 
intended to emphasize the Proclamation Lord Canning 
issued eighteen years before, by which the Queen assumed 
the direct sovereignty of her eastern possessions, and that 


he wished no trouble or expense to be spared in making 
the ceremony altogether worthy of such a great historical 

I returned to Simla in October, when my wife and I 
accompanied the Commander-in-Chief on a very delightful 
march over the Jalauri Pass through the Kulu valley, 
then over the Bubbu Pass and through the Kangra valley 
to Chamba and Dalhousie. Our party consisted of the 
Chief, his Doctor (Bradshaw), Persian interpreter (Moore), 
General and Mrs. Lumsden, and ourselves. The first 
slight shower of snow had just fallen on the Jalauri 
Pass, and as we crossed over we disturbed a number 
of beautiful snow-pheasants and minals busily engaged 
in scratching it away to get at their food. The scenery 
on this march is very fine and varied ; for the most part 
the timber and foliage are superb, and the valleys are very 
fertile and pretty, lying close under the snow-capped 

Having inspected the 'Hill stations,' we proceeded to 
Peshawar, where the Viceroy had arranged to hold a con- 
ference with the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab and 
the Commissioner of Peshawar about frontier affairs. 

Early in December I was back again at Delhi, where I 
found the arrangements for the several camps progress- 
ing most satisfactorily, and canvas cities rising up in 
every direction. I had previously chosen the site of the 
old cantonment for the camps of the Viceroy, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, and the principal officials, while for 
the Assemblage itself I had selected ground about three 
miles off. 

The Chiefs and Princes were all settled in their several 


camps ready to meet the Viceroy, who, on his arrival, 
in a few graceful words welcomed them to Delhi, and 
thanked them for responding to his invitation. He then 
mounted, with Lady Lytton, on a state elephant, and 
a procession was formed, which, I fancy, was about the 
most gorgeous and picturesque which has ever been seen 
even in the East. The magnificence of the Native 
Princes' retinues can hardly be described ; their elephant- 
housings were of cloth of gold, or scarlet-and-blue cloths 
embroidered in gold and silver. The howdahs were veri- 
table thrones of the precious metals, shaded by the most 
brilliant canopies, and the war-elephants belonging to some 
of the Central India and Eajputana Chiefs formed a very 
curious and interesting feature. Their tusks were tipped 
with steel ; they wore shields on their foreheads, and breast- 
plates of flashing steel ; chain-mail armour hung down over 
their trunks and covered their backs and sides ; and they 
were mounted by warriors clad in chain-mail, and armed 
to the teeth. Delhi must have witnessed many splendid 
pageants, when the Eajput, the Moghul, and the Mahratta 
dynasties, each in its turn, was at the height of its glory ; but 
never before had Princes and Chiefs of every race and creed 
come from all parts of Hindustan, vying with each other 
as to the magnificence of their entourage, and met together 
with the same object — that of acknowledging and doing 
homage to one supreme Euler. 

The next few days were spent by Lord Lytton in re- 
ceiving the sixty-three* Euling Princes of India according 

* ' Besides the sixty-three Kuling Chiefs, there were nearly three 
hundred titular Chiefs and persons of distinction collected at the 
Imperial Assemblage, besides those included in the suites of Kuling 
Chiefs.' — J. Talboys Wheeler, ' History of the Delhi Assemblage.' 


to the strictest etiquette. Each Prince, with his suite, was 
met at the entrance to the camp, and conducted up the 
street to the durbar tent by mounted officers, the salute 
to which he was entitled being fired while the procession 
moved on. He was then presented by the Foreign 
Secretary to the Viceroy, who placed him on a chair on 
his right, immediately below a full-length portrait of Her 
Majesty. A satin banner, richly embroidered with the 
Chief's armorial bearings, surmounted by the Imperial 
crown, was next brought in by Highland soldiers and 
planted in front of the throne, when the Viceroy, leading 
the particular Chief towards it, thus addressed him : ' I 
present Your Highness with this banner as a personal 
gift from Her Majesty the Queen, in commemoration of 
her assumption of the title of Empress of India. Her 
Majesty trusts that it may never be unfurled without re- 
minding you not only of the close union between the 
throne of England and your loyal and princely house, 
but also of the earnest desire of the paramount power to 
see. your dynasty strong, prosperous, and permanent.' 

His Excellency then placed round the Chief's neck a 
crimson ribbon, to which was attached a very handsome 
gold medal* with the Queen's head engraved on it, adding : 
' I further decorate you, by command of Her Majesty. May 
this medal be long worn by yourself, and long kept as an 
heirloom in your family in remembrance of the auspicious 
date it bears.' 

The 1st January, 1877, saw the Queen proclaimed 

* These gold medals were also presented to the Governors, 
Lieutenant-Governors, and other high officials, and to the members 
of the Imperial Assemblage Committee. 


Empress of India. The ceremony was most imposing, 
and in every way successful. Three tented pavilions 
had been constructed on an open plain. The throne- 
pavilion in the centre was a very graceful erection, brilliant 
in hangings and banners of red, blue, and white satin 
magnificently embroidered in gold, with appropriate 
emblems. It was hexagonal in shape, and rather more 
than 200 feet in circumference. In front of this was the 
pavilion for the Kuling Chiefs and high European officials, 
in the form of a semicircle 800 feet long. The canopy 
was of Star of India blue-and-white satin embroidered in 
gold, each pillar being surmounted by an Imperial crown. 
Behind the throne was the stand for the spectators, also 
in the form of a semicircle divided in the middle, and 
likewise canopied in brilliant colours. Between these two 
blocks was the entrance to the area. 

Each Chief and high official sat beneath his own banner, 
which was planted immediately behind his chair, and 
they were all mixed up as much as possible to avoid 
questions of precedence, the result being the most 
wonderful mass of colour, produced from the inter- 
mingling of British uniforms and plumes with gorgeous 
eastern costumes, set off by a blaze of diamonds and 
other precious stones. 

All the British troops brought to Delhi for the occasion 
were paraded to the north, and the troops and retainers 
belonging to the Native Chiefs to the south, of the pavilion. 
Guards of Honour were drawn up on either side of the 
throne and at each opening by which the Buling Chiefs 
were to enter the pavilion. 

The guests being all seated, a flourish of trumpets by 


the heralds exactly at noon announced the arrival of the 
Viceroy. The military bands played a march, and Lord 
Lytton, accompanied by Lady Lytton, their daughters, and 
his staff, proceeded to the pavilion. His Excellency took 
his seat upon the throne, arrayed in his robes as Grand 
Master of the Star of India, the National Anthem was 
played, the Guards of Honour presented arms, while the 
whole of the vast assemblage rose as one man. The Chief 
Herald was then commanded to read the Proclamation. 
A flourish of trumpets was again sounded, and Her 
Majesty was proclaimed Empress of India. 

When the Chief Herald had ceased reading, the Koyal 
Standard was hoisted, and a salute of 101 salvoes of 
artillery was fired, with a, feu de joie from the long line of 
troops. This was too much for the elephants. As the feu 
de joie approached nearer and nearer to them they became 
more and more alarmed, and at last scampered off, dis- 
persing the crowd in every direction. When it ceased they 
were quieted and brought back by their mahouts, only to 
start off again when the firing recommenced ; but, as it 
was a perfectly bare plain, without anything for the great 
creatures to come in contact with, there was no harm done 
beyond a severe shaking to their riders. As the sound 
of the last salvo died away the Viceroy addressed the 
assemblage. When he had ceased speaking, the assembly 
again rose en masse and joined the troops in giving several 
ringing cheers. 

His Highness the Maharaja Sindhia then spoke as 
follows : ' Shah in Shah Padishah. May God bless you. 
The Princes of India bless you, and pray that your 
sovereignty and power may remain steadfast for ever.' 


Sir Salar Jung rose on behalf of the boy Nizam, and 
said : ' I am desired by His Highness the Nizam to request 
your Excellency to convey to Her Majesty, on the part of 
himself and the Chiefs of India, the expression of their 
hearty congratulations on the assumption of the title of 
Empress of India, and to assure the Queen that they pray 
for her, and for the enduring prosperity of her Empire, 
both in India and England.' 

The Maharajas of Udaipur and Jaipur, in the name of 
the united Chiefs of Eajputana, begged that a telegram 
might be sent to the Queen, conveying their dutiful and 
loyal congratulations ; and the Maharaja of Kashmir ex- 
pressed his gratification at the tenor of the Viceroy's 
speech, and declared that he should henceforth consider 
himself secure under the shadow of Her Majesty's protect- 
ing care.* 

It is difficult to overrate the political importance of this 
great gathering. It was looked upon by most of the Euling 
Chiefs as the result of the Prince of Wales's visit, and 
rejoiced in as an evidence of Her Majesty's increased 
interest in, and appreciation of, the vast Empire of India 
with its many different races and peoples. 

I visited all the camps, and conversed with every one of 
the Princes and Nobles, and each in turn expressed the 
same intense gratification at the Viceroy's reception of 
him, the same fervent loyalty to the Empress, and the 
same satisfaction that the new title should have been 
announced with such appropriate splendour and publicity. 

* In endeavouring to describe this historical event, I have freely 
refreshed my memory from Talboys Wheeler's ' History of the 
Imperial Assemblage,' in which is given a detailed account of the 

vol. ii. 39 


General rejoicings in honour of the occasion took place 
all over India, in Native States as well as British canton- 
ments. School -houses, town halls, hospitals, and dis- 
pensaries were founded, large numbers of prisoners were 
released, substantial additions were made to the pay of all 
ranks in the Native Army, as well as a considerable 
increase in numbers to the Order of British India ; and 
the amnesty granted in 1859 was extended to all but 
murderers and leaders in the Mutiny. 

When the Assemblage broke up, I started with Sir 
Frederick Haines for a tour along the Derajat frontier. 
We visited Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, and Multan ; 
proceeded by steamer down the Indus to Sukkur, and 
thence rode to Jacobabad. Then on to Kotri, from which 
place we went to see the battle-field of Miani, where Sir 
Charles Napier defeated the Amirs of Sind in 1843. From 
Kotri we travelled to Simla via Karachi and Bombay, where 
we were most hospitably entertained by the Commander- 
in-Chief of Bombay (Sir Charles Staveley) and his wife. 

Afghan affairs were this year again giving the Viceroy 
a great deal of anxiety. The Amir had eventually agreed 
to a discussion of Lord Lytton's proposals being held, and 
for this purpose Saiyad Nur Mahomed and Sir Lewis Pelly 
had met at Peshawar in January, 1877. The meeting, 
unfortunately, ended in a rupture, owing to Sher Ali's 
agent pronouncing the location of European officers in any 
part of Afghanistan an impossibility ; and what at this 
crisis complicated matters to a most regrettable extent 
was the death of Saiyad Nur Mahomed, who had been in 
failing health for some time. 

On learning the death of his most trusted Minister, and 


the failure of the negotiations, Sher Ali broke into a 
violent fit of passion, giving vent to his fury in threatenings 
and invectives against the British Government. He declared 
it was not possible to come to terms, and that there was 
nothing left for him but to fight ; that he had seven crores 
of rupees, every one of which he would hurl at the heads of 
the English, and he ended by giving orders for a jahad 
(a religious war) to be proclaimed. 

For the time being nothing more could be done with 
Afghanistan, and the Viceroy was able to turn his attention 
to the following important questions : — the transfer of Sind 
from Bombay to the Punjab, a measure which had been 
unanimously agreed to by Lord Northbrook's Government ; 
the removal from the Punjab government of the trans- 
Indus tract of country, and the formation of the latter into 
a separate district under the control of a Chief Commis- 
sioner, who would be responsible to the Government of 
India alone for frontier administration and trans-frontier 
relations. This post Lord Lytton told me, as much to my 
surprise as to my gratification, that he meant to offer to me, 
if his views were accepted by the Secretary of State. It 
was above all others the appointment I should have liked. 
I delighted in frontier life and frontier men, who, with all 
their faults, are men, and grand men, too. I had felt for 
years what an important factor the trans-Indus tribes are 
in the defence of India, and how desirable it was that we 
should be on better terms with them than was possible so 
long as our policy consisted in keeping them at arm's length, 
and our only intercourse with them was confined to punitive 
expeditions or the visits of their head men to our hard- 
worked officials, whose whole time was occupied in writing 


long reports, or in settling troublesome disputes to the 
satisfaction of no one. 

I now hoped to be able to put a stop to the futile block- 
ades and inconclusive reprisals which had been carried on 
for nearly thirty years with such unsatisfactory results, 
and I looked forward to turning the wild tribesmen from 
enemies into friends, a strength instead of a weakness, to 
our Government, and to bringing them by degrees within 
the pale of civilization. My wife quite shared my feelings, 
and we were both eager to begin our frontier life. 

As a preliminary to my engaging in this congenial 
employment, Lord Lytton proposed that I should take 
up the command of the Punjab Frontier Force. I gladly 
acquiesced ; for I had been a long time on the staff, and 
had had three years of the Quartermaster - Generalship. 
My friends expressed surprise at my accepting the position 
of Brigadier-General, after having filled an appointment 
carrying with it the rank of Major-General ; but this was 
not my view. I longed for a command, and the Frontier 
Force offered opportunities for active service afforded by no 
other post. 

We were in Calcutta when the question was decided, 
and started very soon afterwards to make our arrangements 
for the breaking up of our home at Simla. I took over 
the command of the Force on the 15th March, 1878. My 
wife accompanied me to Abbottabad — the pretty, quiet 
little place in Hazara, about 4,000 feet above the sea, 
which was to be henceforth our winter head-quarters. 
For the summer months we were to be located in the 
higher hills, and my wife was anxious to see the house 
which I had purchased from my predecessor, General 


Keyes, at Natiagali. So off we set, nothing daunted by 
being told that we were likely to find snow still deep in 

For the first part of the way we got on well enough, 
my wife in a dandy, I riding, and thirteen miles were 
accomplished without much difficulty. Suddenly the road 
took a bend, and we found ourselves in deep snow. Eiding 
soon proved to be impossible, and the dandy-bearers could 
not carry my wife further ; so there was nothing for it but 
to walk. We were seven miles from our destination, and at 
each step we sank into the snow, which became deeper and 
deeper the higher we ascended. On we trudged, till ray 
wife declared she could go no further, and sat down to rest,. 
feeling so drowsy that she entreated me to let her stay 
where she was. Fortunately I had a small flask with 
me filled with brandy. I poured a little into the cup, 
mixed it with snow, and administered it as a stimulant. 
This restored her somewhat, and roused her from the state 
of lethargy into which she had fallen. Again we struggled 
on. Soon it became dark, except for such light as the stars, 
aided by the snow, afforded. More than once I despaired 
of reaching the end of our journey ; but, just as I had 
become quite hopeless, we saw lights on the hill above 
us, and heard our servants, who had preceded us, shouting 
to attract our attention. I answered, and presently they 
came to our assistance. Half carrying, half dragging her, 
we got my wife up the steep mountain-side ; and at length, 
about 9 p.m., we arrived at the little house buried in 
snow, into which we crept through a hole dug in the snow 
wall which encircled it. We were welcomed by a blazing 
wood-fire and a most cheering odour of dinner, to which 


we did full justice, after having got rid of our saturated 
garments. __ Next morning we started on our return journey 
at daybreak, for it was necessary to get over the worst part 
of the road before the sun had had time to soften the snow, 
which the night's frost had so thoroughly hardened that we 
slipped over it without the least difficulty. 

This was our only visit to our new possession, for very 
soon afterwards I was informed that Lord Lytton wished 
me to spend the summer at Simla, as the Lieutenant- 
Governor of the Punjab would be there, and His Excel- 
lency was anxious to discuss the details of the proposed 
Chief Commissionership. My wife, therefore, returned to 
Simla at once, and I joined her at the end of May, having 
in the meanwhile inspected every regiment and visited 
every post held by the Frontier Force between Sind and 
Hazara — a most interesting experience, which I thoroughly 

t 103 ] 


Before continuing my story, it will, I think, be as well 
to recall to the minds of my readers the train of events 
which led to England and Kussia becoming at the same 
moment solicitous for the Amir's friendship, for it was this 
rivalry which was the immediate cause of the second 
Afghan war. 

Less than two hundred years ago the British Empire in 
the East and Bussia were separated from each other by a 
distance of 4,000 miles. Bussia' s most advanced posts 
were at Orenburg and Petropaulovsk, while England had 
obtained but an uncertain footing on the seaboard of 
southern India. The French were our only European 
rivals in India, and the advance of Bussia towards the 
Oxus was as little anticipated as was England's advance 
towards the Indus. 

Thirty years later Bussia began to absorb the hordes 
of the Kirghiz steppes, which gave her occupation for 
more than a hundred years, during which time England 
was far from idle. Bengal was conquered, or ceded to us, 
the Madras Presidency established, and Bombay had become 
an important settlement, with the result that, in the early 
part of this century, the distance between the Bussian 


and English possessions had been diminished to less than 
2,000 miles. 

Our progress was now more rapid. While Eussia was 
laboriously crossing a barren desert, the North - West 
Provinces, the Carnatic, the territories of the Peshwa, Sind, 
and the Punjab, successively came under our rule, and by 
1850 we had extended our dominions to the foot of the 
mountains beyond the Indus. 

Eussia by this time, having overcome the difficulties of 
the desert, had established herself at Aralsk, near the 
junction of the Syr Daria with the waters of Lake Aral ; so 
that in fifty years the distance between the outposts of the 
two advancing Powers in Asia had been reduced to about 
1,000 miles. 

Eepeated successful wars with Persia, and our desertion 
of that Power owing to the conviction that we could no 
longer defend her against the Eussians, had practically 
placed her at their mercy, and they had induced Persia, in 
1837, to undertake the siege of Herat. At the same time, 
the Eussian Ambassador at Teheran had despatched 
Captain Vitkievitch to Kabul with letters from himself and 
from the Czar to the Amir, in the hope of getting Dost 
Mahomed Khan to join the Eussians and Persians in their 
alliance against the English. 

Vitkievitch' s arrival at Kabul towards the end of 1837 
had been anticipated by Captain (afterwards Sir Alexander) 
Burnes, who had been sent three months before by Lord 
Auckland on a Mission to the Amir, ostensibly to im- 
prove our commercial relations with the Afghans, but in 
reality to prevent them from joining the Eusso-Persian 


Burnes had been most cordially received by Dost 
Mahomed, who hoped, with the help of the Indian Govern- 
ment, to recover the district of Peshawar, which had been 
wrested from him by the Sikhs. Vitkievitch's reception 
was proportionately discouraging, and for some weeks he 
could not obtain an interview with the Amir. 

The Dost's hopes, however, were not fulfilled. We 
declined to give him any assistance towards regaining 
possession of Peshawar or defending his dominions, should 
his refusal to join with Persia and Kussia draw down upon 
him the enmity of those Powers. 

Vitkievitch, who had been patiently biding his time, was 
now taken into favour by the Amir, who accorded him a 
reception which fully compensated for the neglect with 
which he had previously been treated. 

Burnes remained at Kabul until the spring of 1838, and 
then returned to India to report that Dost Mahomed had 
thrown himself heart and soul into the Eusso-Persian 

Under pressure from the English Ministry the Governor- 
General of India determined to take the extreme measure 
of deposing an Amir who had shown himself so hostilely 
inclined, and of placing on the throne of Kabul a Kuler who, 
it was hoped, would feel that it was to his interest to keep 
on good terms with us. It was for this object that the first 
Afghan war* was undertaken, which ended in the murder 
of our nominee, Shah Shuja, and the triumphant return of 
Dost Mahomed. The disastrous failure of our action in this 
matter taught the British Government that our frontier on 

* It is instructive to note how remarkably similar were the circum- 
stances which brought about the first and second Afghan wars, viz., 
the presence of Kussian officers at Kabul. 


the Sutlej was too far removed for us to think of exercising 
any real influence in Afghanistan, and that the time had 
not arrived to warrant our interfering in Afghan affairs. 

After this came our war with the Sikhs, resulting in our 
conquest of the Punjab, and our frontier becoming con- 
terminous with that of Afghanistan on the banks of the 

There was a lull in the movements of Kussia in Central 
Asia until after the Crimean War of 1854-56, which, while 
temporarily checking the designs of Eussia in Europe, 
seems to have stimulated her progress in the East. After 
the passage of the great desert, Eussia found herself in the 
midst of fertile and settled countries, whose provinces 
fell under her control as rapidly as those of India had 
fallen under ours, until in 1864 Chimkent was occupied, the 
point beyond which Prince Gortchakoff stated that there 
was no intention on the part of Eussia to make further 

Notwithstanding these assurances, Tashkent was captured 
on the 29th June of the following year. In 1866 
Khojent was successfully assaulted. Tisakh fell on the 
30th October ; and in the spring of 1867 the fort of Yani- 
Kargan in the Nurata mountains was seized and occupied. 

Bokhara alone remained unconquered, but the Euler of 
that State, after vainly endeavouring to gain assistance from 
Afghanistan and to enlist the sympathies of the Indian 
Government, was compelled to sue for peace. 

Important as these acquisitions were, they attracted 
but little attention in England, owing partly to the 
policy of non-interference which had been adopted as 
regards Central Asian affairs, and partly to the British 


public being absorbed in European politics ; until 1868, 
when the occupation of Samarkand by Eussia caused con- 
siderable excitement, not to say consternation, amongst the 
authorities in England. 

Conferences took place in the spring of 1870 between 
Lord Clarendon, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 
and Baron Brunow, the Bussian Ambassador, with the 
object of determining a neutral zone, which should be the 
limit of the possessions of England and Eussia in Central 
Asia. For nearly three years, Eussia was persistent in her 
endeavours to have Afghanistan placed outside the pale 
of British influence ; but the Indian Government were 
equally persistent in pointing out the danger of agree- 
ing to such an arrangement, and it was not until the 
31st January, 1873, that the boundary, which neither 
England nor Eussia might cross, was finally agreed upon. 

Six months later the conquest of Khiva by Eussia was 
effected. It was at first given out that the expedition was 
to punish acts of brigandage, and to rescue fifty Bussian 
prisoners, but was on no account to lead to a prolonged 
occupancy of the Khanate. Count Schouvaloff, the Eussian 
Statesman who was deputed to communicate the object of 
the expedition to the British Government, declared that a 
positive promise to this effect might be given to the British 
public, as a proof of the friendly and pacific intentions of 
his master the Czar ; but, notwithstanding these assurances, 
the Eussians never left Khiva, and it has been a Eussian 
possession from that time. 

Thus, in a little more than twenty years, Eussia had 
made a stride of 600 miles towards India, leaving but 400 
miles between her outposts and those of Great Britain. 


Eussia's southern boundary was now, in fact, almost 
conterminous with the northern boundary of Afghanistan, 
near enough to cause the Euler of that country considerable 
anxiety, and make him feel that Eussia had become a 
dreaded neighbour, and that the integrity of his kingdom 
could not be maintained save by the aid of one of the two 
great Powers between whose fire he now found himself. 

I have endeavoured to show how it was that Sher Ali, 
notwithstanding his soreness and disappointment at the 
many rebuffs he had received from us in the earlier part 
of his career, gratefully remembered the timely aid afforded 
him by Sir John Lawrence, and the princely reception 
accorded to him by Lord Mayo, and was still quite pre- 
pared in 1873 to enter into friendly relations with us, pro- 
vided we would recognize his favourite son as his heir, 
and give a direct promise of aid in the event of Eussian 
aggression. Our refusal to accede to these terms, added 
to our adverse decision in regard to the Sistan boundary, 
turned Sher Ali from a friend into an enemy, and he 
decided, as his father had done forty years before, to throw 
in his lot with Eussia. 

[ 109 ] 


In 1877 Kussia declared war with Turkey ; for more than a 
year fighting had been going on between the two countries, 
and as it seemed possible to the British Government that 
England might in the end be drawn into the contest, it was 
deemed expedient to obtain help from India, and a force of 
about 5,000 Native soldiers was despatched from Bombay to 
Malta in response to the demand from home. 

Bussia answered this move on our part by increased 
activity in Central Asia ; and in June, 1878, it was reported 
by Major Cavagnari, Deputy-Commissioner of Peshawar, 
that a Bussian Envoy of the same rank as the Governor- 
General of Tashkent was about to visit Kabul, and that- 
General Kauffmann had written to the Amir that the 
Envoy must be received as an Ambassador deputed by 
the Czar himself. A few days later further reports were 
received of Bussian troops being mobilized, and of the 
intention of Bussia to establish cantonments on the ferries 
of Kilif and Kerki on the Oxus. 

The Amir, it was said, summoned a council of the leading 
Chiefs, to discuss the question whether it would be most 
advantageous for Afghanistan at this juncture to side with 
Bussia or with England; it was decided apparently in 


favour of the former, for from the moment General 
Stolietoff's Mission set foot on Afghan territory it met 
with an enthusiastic reception. Five miles from the 
capital Stolietoff and his companions were welcomed by 
the Foreign Secretary. They were then mounted on richly- 
caparisoned elephants, and escorted by a large body of 
troops to the Bala Hissar, where the following morning 
they were received in state by Sher Ali, and the nobles of 
highest degree in his kingdom.* 

On the eve of the day that the Mission entered Kabul, 
Stolietoff received a despatch from General Kauffmann 
giving him the heads of the Berlin Treaty, with the follow- 
ing commentary in the handwriting of the Governor-General 

* On the 13th June, the day on which the Berlin Congress held its 
first sitting, the news of the approach of General Stolietoff's Mission 
reached Kabul. The Kussians hoped that the Mission might influence 
the decision of the Berlin Congress, and although its despatch was 
repudiated by the Imperial Government at St. Petersburg, it was sub- 
sequently ascertained on excellent authority that the project of sending a 
Mission to Kabul was discussed three times at the Council of Ministers, 
and, according to a statement in the Journal de St. Petersbourg, orders 
were sent in April, 1878, to General Kauffmann regarding its despatch. 
About the same time, the Kussian Minister of War proposed that the 
Army of the Caucasus should be transferred bodily across the Caspian 
to Astrabad, whence the troops would march in two columns on Herat ; 
while three columns, amounting in the aggregate to 14,000 men, were 
to move direct upon the Oxus from Turkestan. The main part of this 
scheme was never carried into effect, probably from its being found too 
great an undertaking at a time when Russia had scarcely obtained a 
footing beyond the Caspian, but the minor movement was partially 
carried out. The largest of the three columns, under Kauffmann's 
own command, moved from Tashkent, through Samarkand, to Jain, 
the most southern point of the Russian possessions at that time, and 
within ten marches of Kilif, the main ferry over the Oxus. There it 
remained for some weeks, when it returned to Tashkent, the Afghan 
expedition being abandoned in consequence of the Treaty of Berlin 
having been signed. 


himself: 'If the news be true, it is indeed melancholy;' 
adding, however, that the Congress had finished its 
sittings, and that, therefore, the Envoy in his negotiations 
with the Amir had better refrain from arranging any 
distinct measures, or making any positive promises, and 
1 not go generally as far as would have been advisable if 
war with England had been threatened.' Evidently these 
instructions greatly modified the basis of Stolietoff's 
negotiations with Sher Ali ; for, although the Eussians 
deny that an offensive and defensive alliance with the 
Afghan Euler was contemplated, it seems probable, from the 
tone of Kauffmann's despatch, that the Envoy's instruc- 
tions were elastic enough to admit of such an arrangement 
had the circumstances of the case made it desirable — e.g., 
had the Berlin Congress failed to establish peace in Europe. 

In telegraphing to the Secretary of State an account 
of these proceedings at Kabul, the Viceroy requested 
explicit instructions from Her Majesty's Government as 
to whether this conduct on the part of Eussia and Afghan- 
istan was to be left to the Government of India to deal with 
as a matter between it and the Amir, or whether, having 
regard to Eussia' s formal promises, it would be treated as 
an Imperial question. ' In the former case,' he concluded, 
' I shall propose, with your approval, to insist on an 
immediate suitable reception of a British Mission.' 

Lord Lytton's proposition was approved of by Her 
Majesty's Ministers, and a letter* was at once written by 

* ' Simla, 

• lUh August, 1878. 
' The authentic intelligence which I have lately received of the 
course of recent events at Kabul and in the countries bordering on 
Afghanistan has rendered it necessary that I should communicate 


the Viceroy to the Amir, announcing that a Mission would 
shortly be despatched to. Kabul with General Sir Neville 
Chamberlain, at that time Commander-in-Chief in Madras, 
as its responsible head. 

Major Cavagnari was at the same time directed to inform 
the authorities at Kabul that the object of the Mission was 
altogether friendly, and that a refusal to grant it a free 
passage and safe conduct, such as had been accorded to the 
Russian Envoy, would be considered as an act of open 

Intimation of the Viceroy's intentions reached Kabul on 
the 17th August, the day on which the Amir's favourite 

fully and without reserve with your Highness upon matters of im- 
portance which concern the interests of India and of Afghanistan. For 
this reason, I have considered it expedient to depute a special and 
confidential British Envoy of high rank, who is known to your 
Highness — his Excellency General Sir Neville Bowles Chamberlain, 
Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, 
Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of 
India, Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army — to visit your High- 
ness immediately at Kabul, in order that he may converse personally 
with your Highness regarding these urgent affairs. It appears certain 
that they can best be arranged for the welfare and tranquillity of both 
States, and for the preservation of friendship between the two Govern- 
ments, by a full and frank statement of the present position. This 
letter is therefore sent in advance to your Highness by the hand of 
Nawab Gholam Hussein Khan, C.S.I., a faithful and honoured Sirdar 
of my Government, who will explain all necessary details as to the 
time and manner of the Envoy's visit. It is asked that your Highness 
may be pleased to issue commands to your Sirdars, and to all other 
authorities in Afghanistan, upon the route between Peshawar and 
Kabul, that they shall make, without any delay, whatever arrange- 
ments are necessary and proper for effectively securing to my Envoy, 
the representative of a friendly Power, due safe conduct and suitable 
accommodation according to his dignity, while passing with his retinue 
through the dominions of your Highness. 

' I beg to express the high consideration I entertain for your High- 
ness, and to subscribe myself.' 


son, Abdulla Jan, died. This untoward event was taken 
advantage of to delay answering the Viceroy's letter, but it 
was not allowed in any way to interfere with the progress 
of the negotiations with Eussia. When these were com- 
pleted, Stolietoff inquired from Sher Ali whether he meant 
to receive the English Mission, whereupon the Amir asked 
for the General's advice in the matter. Stolietoff, while 
replying somewhat evasively, gave Sher Ali to understand 
that the simultaneous presence of Embassies from two 
countries in almost hostile relations with each other would 
not be quite convenient, upon which His Highness decided 
not to allow the British Mission to enter Afghanistan. 
This decision, however, was not communicated to the 
Viceroy, and on the 21st September the Mission* marched 
out of Peshawar and encamped at Jamrud, three miles 
short of the Khyber Pass. 

In consequence of the extremely hostile attitude of the 
Amir, and the very unsatisfactory reply received from 
General Faiz Mahomed Khan, commanding the Afghan 
troops in the Khyber Pass, to a letterf he had written a 

* The Mission was composed of General Sir Neville Chamberlain, 
G-.C.B., G.C.S.I. ; Major Cavagnari, C.S.I. ; Surgeon-Major Bellew, 
C.S.I. ; Major O. St. John, BE. ; Captain St. V. Hammick, 43rd Foot ; 
Captain F. Onslow, Madras Cavalry ; Lieutenant Neville Chamberlain, 
Central India Horse ; Maharaj Pertap Sing of Jodhpur ; and Sirdar 
Obed Ulla Khan, of Tonk. Lieutenant-Colonel F. Jenkins and Captain 
W. Battye were with the escort. 

f ' Peshawar, 

1 15th September, 1878. 

(After compliments.) ' I write to inform you that, by command of 
His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor- General of India, a friendly 
Mission of British officers, with a suitable escort, is about to proceed 
to Kabul through the Khyber Pass, and intimation of the despatch of 
this Mission has been duly communicated to His Highness the Amir 
by the hand of the Nawab Ghulam Hussein Khan. 

vol. 11. 40 


few days before, Sir Neville Chamberlain suspected that the 
advance of the Mission would be opposed, and, in order ' to 
reduce to a minimum any indignity that might be offered to 
our Government,' he deputed Major Cavagnari to ride on 
with a few sowars to Ali Mas j id, a fort ten miles beyond 

' I hear that an official from Kabul has recently visited you at Ali 
Masjid, and he has doubtless instructed you in accordance with His 
Highness the Amir's commands. As, however, information has now 
been received that you have summoned from Peshawar the Khyber 
headmen with whom we were making arrangements for the safe 
conduct of the British Mission through the Khyber Pass, I therefore 
write to inquire from you whether, in accordance with the instructions 
you have received, you are prepared to guarantee the safety of the 
British Mission to Daka or not ; and I request that a clear reply to 
this inquiry may be speedily communicated by the hand of the bearer 
of this letter, as I cannot delay my departure from Peshawar. It is 
well known that the Khyber tribes are in receipt of allowances from 
the Kabul Government, and also, like other independent tribes on this 
frontier, have relations with the British Government. It may be well 
to let you know that when the present negotiations were opened with 
the Khyber tribes, it was solely with the object of arranging with 
them for the safe conduct of the British Mission through the Khyber 
Pass, in the same manner as was done in regard to the despatch of our 
Agent, the Nawab Ghulam Hussein Khan ; and the tribes were given 
clearly to understand that these negotiations were in no way intended 
to prejudice their relations with His Highness the Amir, as it was well 
known that the object of the British Mission was altogether of a friendly 
character to His Highness the Amir and the people of Afghanistan. 

1 1 trust that, in accordance with the instructions you have received 
from His Highness the Amir, your reply to this letter will be satis- 
factory, and that it will contain the required assurances that the 
Mission will be safely conducted to Daka. I shall expect to receive 
your reply to this letter not later than the 18th instant, so please under- 
stand that the matter is most urgent. 

' But at the same time, it is my duty to inform you, in a frank and 
friendly manner, that if your answer is not what I trust it will be, or 
if you delay to send an early reply, I shall have no alternative but to 
make whatever arrangements may seem to me best for carrying out 
the instructions I have received from my own Government.' 


the mouth of the Pass, and demand leave for the Mission 
to proceed. 

When within a mile of the fort, Cavagnari was met by a 
body of Afridis, who warned him that the road ahead was 
blocked by Afghans, and that if he ventured further he 
would be fired upon. On this Cavagnari halted, and while 
in the act of writing a letter to Faiz Mahomed, complaining 
of the treatment he had met with, and informing him that 
he and his companions intended to proceed until fired 
upon, an act the responsibility for which would rest with 
the Amir's representatives, a message was brought him 
from Faiz Mahomed to the effect that he was coming to 
meet him, and would hear anything he had to com- 

The interview took place near a water-mill on the right 
bank of the stream which flows under Ali Masjid. I have 
several times since ridden past the spot and pictured to 
myself the meeting between the British political officer and 
the Afghan General. It was a meeting of most portentous 
moment, for its result would mean peace or war. 

Faiz Mahomed's bearing was perfectly courteous, but he 
made it clear that he did not intend to permit the Mission 
to pass, explaining that he was only acting as a sentry under 
instructions from Kabul, and that he was bound to resist 
the entrance of the Mission into Afghan territory with all 
the force at his disposal. He spoke with considerable 
warmth, and told Cavagnari that but for their personal 
friendship he would, in obedience to the Amir's orders, 
have shot down him and his escort. 

Faiz Mahomed's followers were not so respectful in their 
bearing as their Chief, and their manner warned Cavagnari 


that it was unadvisable to prolong the conversation ; he, 
therefore, took leave of the Afghan General, and returned 
to Jamrud. The Mission was dissolved,* our Agent at 
Kabul was ordered to return to India, and Cavagnari was in- 
structed to remain at Peshawar and arrange for alienating 
the Afridis in the Khyber from the Amir's interests. 

In reporting these circumstances to the Secretary of 
State, the Government of India expressed their regret that 
this final endeavour on their part to arrive at some definite 
understanding with the Amir of Kabul should have been 
thus met with repudiation and affront, and concluded their 
despatch in the following words : ' The repulse of Sir Neville 
Chamberlain by Sher Ali at his frontier while the Kussian 
emissaries are still at his capital has proved the inutility 
of diplomatic expedients, and has deprived the Amir of all 
claim upon our further forbearance.' 

It had been arranged that, if it were unfortunately found 
to be necessary to support political efforts by military 
measures, two columns should be mobilized, one at Sukkur 
on the Indus, for an advance in the direction of Kandahar, 
the other at Kohat for operations in the Kuram valley, 
and that I was to have command of the latter. As soon, 

* In a letter to Lord Lytton reporting the rebuff the Mission had 
encountered, General Chamberlain wrote : ' No man was ever more 
anxious than I to preserve peace and secure friendly solution, and it 
was only when I plainly saw the Amir's fixed intention to drive us into 
a corner that I told you we must either sink into a position of merely 
obeying his behests on all points or stand on our rights and risk 
rupture. Nothing could have been more distinct, nothing more 
humiliating to the dignity of the British Crown and nation ; and I 
believe that but for the decision and tact of Cavagnari at one period of 
the interview, the lives of the British officers and tjjie Native following 
were in considerable danger.' 


therefore, as the tidings of Sir Neville's repulse was 
received, I started from Simla to be on the spot in case 
the proposal to employ force should be sanctioned by the 
authorities in England. 

Between the time of my leaving Simla and my arrival at 
Kohat on the 9th October, it was decided to employ a third 
column to make a demonstration in the direction of the 
Khyber for the purpose of clearing the Amir's troops out of 
the pass.* 

The formation of this column was no doubt a wise move, 
as the Afghans were holding Ali Masjid, the spot on which 
the insult had been offered to our Envoy, and the presence 
of a force on this line would tend to relieve the pressure 
against my column ; but looked at from my point of view, 
this third column was not quite so desirable, as it involved 
the withdrawal of three of my most efficient regiments, and 
the transfer of a large number of my transport animals to 
the Khyber for its use. There was some consolation, how- 
ever, in the fact that my old friend Major-General Sir 
Samuel Browne, who had been named for the command in 
the Khyber, was to be the gainer by my loss. 

Major-General Donald Stewart, who was in England, 
was telegraphed for to command the Kandahar column, 
the advanced portion of which, it was intended, should push 
on under Major-General Biddulph to strengthen Quetta. 

* The approximate strength of the three columns was as follows : 


I. The Kandahar Field Force 265 

II. The Kuram Field Force 116 

III. The Peshawar Valley Field Force ... 325 

706 35,002 144 










The long-expected reply* from the Amir to the Viceroy's 
letter of the 14th August was received at Simla on the 
19th October. Its tone was considered extremely dis- 
courteous ; it contained no apology for the public affront 

* ' Kabul, 

1 6th October, 1878. 
(After compliments.) ' Your Excellency's despatch regarding the 
sending of a friendly message has been received through Nawab 
Gholam Hussein Khan ; I understand its purport, but the Nawab had 
not yet an audience, nor had your Excellency's letters been seen by 
me when a communication was received to the address of my servant, 
Mirza Habibulla Khan, from the Commissioner of Peshawar, and was 
read. I am astonished and dismayed by this letter, written threaten- 
ingly to a well-intentioned friend, replete with contentions, and yet 
nominally regarding a friendly Mission. Coming thus by force, what 
result, or profit, or fruit could come of it ? Following this, three 
other letters from above-mentioned source, in the very same strain, 
addressed to my officials, have been perused by me. Thus, during a 
period of a few days several letters from that quarter have all been 
before me, and none of them have been free from harsh expressions 
and hard words, repugnant to courtesy and politeness, and in tone 
contrary to the ways of friendship and intercourse. Looking to the 
fact that I am at this time assaulted by affliction and grief at the hand 
of fate, and that great trouble has possessed my soul, in the officials of 
the British Government patience and silence would have been 
specially becoming. Let your Excellency take into consideration this 
harsh and breathless haste with which the desired object and place of 
conference have been seized upon, and how the officials of the Govern- 
ment have been led into discussion and subjection to reproach. There 
is some difference between this and the pure road of friendship and 
goodwill. In alluding to those writings of the officials of the opposite 
Government which have emanated from them, and are at this time in 
the possession of my own officials, the latter have in no respect desired 
to show enmity or opposition towards the British Government, nor, 
indeed, do they with any other Power desire enmity or strife ; but when 
any other Power, without cause or reason, shows animosity towards 
this Government, the matter is left in the hands of God and to His 
will. The esteemed Nawab Gholam Hussein Khan, the bearer of this 
despatch, has, in accordance with written instructions received from 
the British Government, asked for permission to retire, and it has 
been granted.' 


offered to the British Government, and indicated no desire 
for improved relations. 

The reply was at once communicated to the Secretary of 
State, who was further informed that the Government of 
India proposed the following measures : — 

The immediate issue of a manifesto which should define 
the cause of offence, declare a friendly disposition towards 
the Afghan people and reluctance to interfere in their in- 
ternal affairs, and should fix the whole responsibility of 
what might happen upon the Amir. 

An advance into the Kuram valley as soon as the force 
at Kohat was ready to move. 

The expulsion of the Afghan troops holding the Khyber 

An advance from Quetta into Pishin, or, if necessary, to 

Lord Cranbrook (who had succeeded the Marquis of 
Salisbury as Secretary of State for India) replied* that he 
did not consider matters to be at present ripe for taking 
the extreme measures recommended by the Government of 
India, and that, before crossing the frontiers of Afghanistan, 
a letter should be addressed to the Amir demanding, in 
temperate language, an apology, and the acceptance of a 
permanent Mission within Afghan limits ; that sufficient 
time should be given for the receipt of a reply to this 
letter (the text of which was to be telegraphed to Lord 
Cranbrook for approval before despatch), and that mean- 
while the massing of troops should be continued, and 
adequate forces assembled at the various points where the 
frontier would be crossed if war were declared. The 

* 25th October. 


Secretary of State went on to say : ' There must be no 
mistake as to our show of power to enforce what we 
require ; this locus penitentice should be allowed before 
hostile acts are committed against the Amir.' 

These instructions were carried out, and on the 30th 
October the ultimatum was despatched to Sher Ali, inform- 
ing him that, unless his acceptance of the conditions were 
received by the Viceroy not later than the 20th November, 
he would be treated by the British Government as a 
declared enemy. 

[ 121 ] 


It was a proud, albeit a most anxious, moment for me 
when I assumed command of the Kuram Field Force ; 
though a local Major- General, I was only a Major in my 
regiment, and save for a short experience on one occasion 
in Lushai, I had never had an opportunity of commanding 
troops in the field. Earnestly longing for success, I was 
intensely interested in ascertaining the qualities of those 
who were to aid me in achieving it. To this end I lost 
no time in taking stock of the several officers and corps 
who were to be associated with me, some of whom were 
personally known to me, while others I had never met 
before ; and in endeavouring to satisfy myself as to their 
qualifications and fitness for their several posts, I could not 
help feeling that they must be equally anxious as to my 
capability for command, and that the inspection must be of 
nearly as great moment to them as to me. 

The results of a very close investigation were tolerably 
satisfactory, but there were weak points in my armour 
which gave me grave cause for anxiety. 

I came to the conclusion that the force was not 
numerically strong enough for the very difficult task before 
it — in the first instance, the occupation of the Kuram 


valley and the expulsion of all Afghan garrisons south of 
the Shutargardan Pass, and in the second, as opportunity 
might offer, the pushing my reconnaissances into the Khost 
valley, and, if military considerations would admit, the 
dislodging the Amir's administration from that tract of 
country, so as to prevent the Kabul Government drawing 
supplies from it. Finally, I was directed to explore the 
roads leading to the unknown region beyond Khost. 

The Shutargardan was not less than 180 miles from 
Kohat, the garrison of which station would, on my depar- 
ture, be reduced to a minimum, and Eawal Pindi, the 
nearest place from which aid could be procured, was 
130 miles still further off, separated from Kohat by an 
execrable road and the swiftly-flowing river Indus, crossed 
by a precarious bridge of boats. It had to be taken into 
account also that the various Afridi tribes were watching 
their opportunity, and at the first favourable moment, in 
common with the tribesmen nearer Kuram, they might be 
expected to take advantage of our weakness and attack our 
convoys and the small posts which had necessarily to be 
established along our line of communication. 

The attitude of the Mahomedan sepoys, of whom there 
were large numbers in four out of my six Native Infantry 
regiments, was also a cause of considerable anxiety ; for I 
was aware that they were not altogether happy at the 
prospect of taking part in a war against their co-religionist, 
the Kuler of Afghanistan, and that the mullas were already 
urging them to desert our cause. 

Furthermore, I discovered that my only British Infantry 
Regiment, the 2nd Battalion of the 8th Foot, was sickly 
to a degree, and therefore in an unserviceable condition. 


It was largely composed of quite young, unacclimatized 
soldiers, peculiarly susceptible to fever — that terrible 
scourge which fills the hospitals of our Punjab stations in 
the autumn of each year. I rode out to meet the battalion 
on its way into Kohat, and was horrified to see the long 
line of doolies and ambulance-carts by which it was accom- 

The inefficient state of the transport added to my 
anxieties. Notwithstanding the difficulties experienced in 
former campaigns from the same cause, the Government 
had neglected to take any steps for the organization of a 
proper transport service while we were at peace ; conse- 
quently, when everything should have been ready for a 
start, confusion reigned supreme in this all-important 
department. Large numbers of camels, mules, and bullocks 
arrived daily, picked up at exorbitant prices from anyone 
who would supply them ; but most of these animals were 
quite unfit to enter upon the hard work of a campaign, and 
with a totally inexperienced and quite insufficient staff of 
officers to supervise them, it was evident that the majority 
must succumb at an early date. 

Hardly had I realized these shortcomings in the con- 
stitution and equipment of my column than I received 
intelligence which led me to believe that the Afghans would 
hold the Peiwar Kotal (the pass leading into Afghanistan 
over the range of mountains bounding the Kuram valley) 
in great strength, and were determined to oppose our 
advance at this point. Under these circumstances I felt 
myself justified in representing to the powers at Simla 
that I considered the number of troops at my disposal 
inadequate for the task they were expected to perform, 


which representation resulted in the 23rd Pioneers, whose 
transfer to the Khyber column had been under con- 
sideration, being left with me, and the 72nd Highlanders, 
a battery of Field Artillery, and the 28th Punjab Infantry, 
being sent to Kohat. Of these, however, I was allowed to 
take on with me only one wing of the 72nd, half the 
battery, and the 28th Punjab Infantry; and the last named 
regiment I could hardly consider as part of my force, for 
when we should arrive at Thai, our furthest frontier post, 
it would have to be dropped, with a wing of the 5th Punjab 
Cavalry and No. 2 Mountain Battery, to garrison that 

This small reinforcement was not given to me without 
considerable demur on the part of the military authorities, 
who had made up their minds that the Kuram column 
would meet with slight, if any, opposition, and that the 
chief stand would be made in the Khyber. Lord Lytton, 
however, supported my appeal, as did Sir Neville Chamber- 
lain, who was then acting as Military Member of Council, 
and who had personal knowledge of the great natural 
strength of the Peiwar Kotal position. 

I next turned my attention to the transport, and en- 
deavoured by all the means I could think of to render it 
more efficient. A certain portion of it I placed in regi- 
mental charge ; I had the men instructed in loading and 
unloading, and I took great care that the animals were not 

Happily, I had a very able staff. Major Galbraith, 
the Assistant-Adjutant-General, though new to the work, 
proved exceptionally good, and Captain Badcock, the chief 
Commissariat officer, and Major Collett and Captain ' Dick ' 


Kennedy, officers of the Quartermaster-General's depart- 
ment, whom I had myself selected, I could thoroughly 
depend upon. 

As regards my own personal staff I was equally 
lucky, Captain Pretyman of the E.A. being my A.D.C., and 
Lieutenant Neville Chamberlain, of the Central India Horse, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel George Villiers, of the Grenadier 
Guards, my Orderly officers. 

As political adviser I had with me an old friend and 
schoolfellow, Colonel Garrow Waterfield, Commissioner of 
Peshawar, who brought with him a large following of 
Native gentlemen connected with the frontier, by whom 
he thought our intercourse with the tribesmen would be 
assisted. With scarcely an exception they proved loyal, 
and throughout the campaign helped me materially. 

Knowing how important it was to secure the interest of 
the Chiefs and Khans of the border on our side, especially 
those who had influence in the Kuram valley, we lost 
no opportunity of becoming acquainted with them while 
we were at Kohat. They were friendly and full of promises, 
but it was clear that the amount of assistance to be given 
by them depended on whether or not our occupation of 
Kuram was to be permanent, and on this important point 
I solicited definite instructions. I reported to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief that, from all I had learnt, the advent of 
a British force would be welcomed by the people, provided 
they understood that it was the forerunner of annexation ; 
that in this case we should be regarded as deliverers, 
and all the resources of the country would be placed at 
our disposal ; but if the people were led to believe that the 
force would be withdrawn when our work was finished, 


and that they would be again handed over to the tender 
mercies of the Kabul Government, we must expect no aid 
from them, as they would naturally dread the resentment 
of their Afghan rulers. 

In reply, I was informed that I could assure the people 
of Kuram that our occupation would be permanent ; and 
my being enabled to make this promise was undoubtedly 
the explanation of the friendly reception we met with on 
entering the valley, and the cause of my receiving at the 
same time a letter from the Chief of the Turis (the inhabi- 
tants of the Kuram valley), inquiring when we might be 
expected, as they were suffering greatly from the tyranny of 
the Afghan Government, and were anxiously waiting the 
arrival of the British. 

[ 127 ] 


By the 15th November my column* (consisting of 1,345 
British and 3,990 Native soldiers, with 13 guns) was con- 
centrated at Thai, and on the 20th — the limit of time given 
to the Amir — no reply having been vouchsafed to the 
Viceroy's ultimatum, orders were issued to the three 
columns to advance the next day.t 

* The details of the column are given in the Appendix. 

t On the 30th November a subordinate officer of the Kabul Govern- 
ment reached Sir Samuel Browne's camp at Daka, and delivered the 
following letter from the Amir to the address of the Viceroy : 

1 From his Highness the Amir of Kabul to the Viceroy of 


' Kabul, 19th November, 1878. 
' Be it known to your Excellency that I have received, and read 
from beginning to end, the friendly letter which your Excellency has 
sent, in reply to the letter I despatched by Nawab Ghulam Hussein 
Khan. With regard to the expressions used by your Excellency in the 
beginning of your letter, referring to the friendly character of the 
Mission and the goodwill of the British Government, I leave it to your 
Excellency, whose wisdom and justice are universally admitted, to 
decide whether any reliance can be placed upon goodwill, if it be 
evidenced by words only. But if, on the other hand, goodwill really 
consists of deeds and actions, then it has not been manifested by the 
various wishes that have been expressed, and the proposals that have 
been made by British officials during the last few years to officials of 
this God-granted Government — proposals which, from their nature, it 
was impossible for them to comply with. 


The Kuram valley, from which my force received its 
designation, is about 60 miles long, and from 3 to 10 miles 
wide. On every side rise high and magnificently-wooded 

' One of these proposals referred to my dutiful son, the ill-starred 
wretch, Mahomed Yakub Khan, and was contained in a letter addressed 
by the officials of the British Government to the British Agent then 
residing in Kabul. It was written in that letter that, " if the said 
Yakub Khan be released and set at liberty, our friendship with the 
Afghan Government will be firmly cemented, but that otherwise it 
will not." 

' There are several other grounds of complaint of similar nature, 
which contain no evidence of goodwill, but which, on the contrary, 
were effective in increasing the aversion and apprehension already 
entertained by the subjects of this God-granted Government. 

' With regard to my refusal to receive the British Mission, your 
Excellency has stated that it would appear from my conduct that I 
was actuated by feelings of direct hostility towards the British 

' I assure your Excellency that, on the contrary, the officials of this 
God-granted Government, in repulsing the Mission, were not influenced 
by any hostile or inimical feelings towards the British Government, 
nor did they intend that any insult or affront should be offered. But 
they were afraid that the independence of this Government might be 
affected by the arrival of the Mission, and that the friendship which 
has now existed between the two Governments for several years might 
be annihilated. 

1 A paragraph in your Excellency's letter corroborates the statement 
which they have made to this Government. The feelings of apprehen- 
sion which were aroused in the minds of the people of Afghanistan by 
the mere announcement of the intention of the British Government to 
send a Mission to Kabul, before the Mission itself had actually started 
or arrived at Peshawar, have subsequently been fully justified by the 
statement in your Excellency's letter, that I should be held responsible 
for any injury that might befall the tribes who acted as guides to the 
Mission, and that I should be called upon to pay compensation to 
them for any loss they might have suffered ; and that if, at any time, 
these tribes should meet with ill-treatment at my hands, the British 
Government would at once take steps to protect them. 

' Had these apprehensions proved groundless, and had the object of 
the Mission been really friendly, and no force or threats of violence 
used, the Mission would, as a matter of course, have been allowed a 

1878] THE KURAM VALLEY 1 29 

mountains, those on the north and east being the most 
lofty and precipitous, while on the north-west projects the 
spur which runs down from Sika Earn, the highest peak of 
the Sufed Koh range, upwards of 14,000 feet high. This 
spur forms the boundary between Kuram and Afghanistan, 
and is crossed by the Peiwar Kotal. A river, which 
varies from 100 to 500 yards in width, flows through the 
valley, and the road, or, rather, track, which existed in 
1878, ran for the most part along its rocky bed. In the 

free passage, as such Missions are customary and of frequent occur- 
rence between allied States. I am now sincerely stating my own 
feelings when I say that this Government has maintained, and always 
will maintain, the former friendship which existed between the two 
Governments, and cherishes no feelings of hostility and opposition 
towards the British Government. 

1 It is also incumbent upon the officials of the British Government 
that, out of respect and consideration for the greatness and eminence 
of their own "Government, they should not consent to inflict any injury 
upon their well-disposed neighbours, and to impose the burden of 
grievous troubles upon the shoulders of their sincere friends. But, 
on the contrary, they should exert themselves to maintain the 
friendly feelings which have hitherto existed towards this God-granted 
Government, in order that the relations between the two Governments 
may remain on the same footing as before ; and if, in accordance with 
the custom of allied States, the British Government should desire to 
send a purely friendly and temporary Mission to this country, with a 
small escort, not exceeding twenty or thirty men, similar to that which 
attended the Bussian Mission, this servant of God will not oppose its 

It was ascertained that this messenger had come to Basawal on the 
22nd November, when, hearing of the capture of Ali Masjid by 
British troops, he immediately returned to Kabul. The Amir's letter, 
though dated the 19th November, was believed to have been re-written 
at Kabul after the news of the fall of Ali Masjid. The text of this 
letter was telegraphed to the Secretary of State on the 7th December ; 
in reply Lord Cranbrook pointed. out that the letter evaded all the 
requirements specified in the Viceroy's ultimatum, and could not have 
been accepted even if it had reached him before the 20th November. 
VOL. II. 41 


winter months the depth of the water nowhere exceeded 
three feet, except after heavy rain, and although the stream 
was rather swift, it could usually be forded with very little 
risk. The valley itself had a bleak and deserted appear- 
ance, save in the immediate vicinity of the few and widely- 
scattered villages, around which were clustered fruit trees 
and patches of cultivation. 

For six weeks the thoughts of every one in the force 
had been turned towards Kuram, consequently there was 
considerable excitement when at 3 a.m. on the 21st 
November the leading troops crossed the river into Afghan 
territory and encamped eight miles from Thai. The next 
morning we marched fifteen miles further up the valley to 
Hazir Pir, where we halted for one day to improve the road 
(in some places impracticable for guns and transport), 
and to allow of the rear part of the column closing up. 
As we proceeded on our way, the headmen from the 
different villages came out to welcome us, and on arriving 
at Hazir Pir we found a plentiful repast awaiting us 
spread under the shade of some trees. Knives and forks 
were evidently considered unnecessary adjuncts by our 
entertainers, so I unhesitatingly took my first lesson 
in eating roast kid and pillaued chicken without their 

On the 24th we marched to the Darwazai defile, and the 
next day proceeded through it to Kuram, forty-eight miles 
from Thai. We found the fort evacuated by the Afghans, 
who had left behind one 6-pounder gun. 

Notwithstanding the proffers of assistance I had received, 
I could get no reliable information as to the whereabouts 
of the enemy; from one account I was led to believe 


that they were in full retreat, from another that they 
were being strongly reinforced. So, to find out the truth, 
I reconnoitred as far as the cantonment of Habib Kila, 
fifteen miles ahead, and there ascertained that the Afghan 
army, consisting (it was said) of 18,000 men and eleven 
guns, had left the place only a short time before, and was 
then moving into position on the Peiwar Kotal. 

Depot hospitals were formed at Kuram, and all our surplus 
stores and baggage were left there with the following 
garrison : Two guns of F/A, Eoyal Horse Artillery, half of 
G/3, E.A., the squadron 10th Hussars, one squadron 12th 
Bengal Cavalry, and the company of Bengal Sappers 
and Miners, besides all the sick and weakly men of the 

At 5 a.m. on the 28th the remainder of the force, with 
the exception of the troops who had been dropped at the 
several halting-places to keep open our line of communi- 
cation, marched towards the Peiwar. 

The stars were still shining when we started, but it was 
very dark, and we were chilled to the bone by a breeze 
blowing straight off the snows of the Sufed Koh ; towards 
sunrise it died away, and was followed by oppressive heat 
and clouds of dust. Our progress was slow, for the banks 
of the numerous nullas which intersect the valley had 
to be ramped before the guns and baggage could pass 
over them. 

On reaching Habib Kila, intelligence was again brought 
that the Amir's troops were in disorderly retreat, and had 
abandoned their guns at the foot of the pass. I at once 
pushed a reconnaissance in force up the south-eastern 
slopes of the mountain under the command of Colonel 


Gordon,* of the 29th Punjab Infantry, who discovered 
that, so far from the enemy having abandoned their guns, 
they had taken up an extremely strong position on the 
pass, from which they fired on the reconnaissance party 
as it advanced, wounding one British, one Native officer t 
and nine men. 

As the Afghans seemed inclined to press Gordon, two 
guns were brought into action, and, to cover his retirement, 
I sent out the 5th Gurkhas, under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Fitz-Hugh, who skilfully effected this object with the loss 
of only one Gurkha wounded. 

Gordon brought me back the valuable piece of informa- 
tion that no further advance in that direction was possible, 
save in single file — valuable because, had I attempted a 
front attack, the sacrifice of life must have been enormous, 
even if the attack had proved successful, the possibility of 
which I still greatly doubt. 

Our tents not having arrived, the force prepared to 
bivouac ; but our position proving untenable, from being 

* Now General J. Gordon, C.B., Assistant Military Secretary, Horse 

f The Native officer was Subadar-Major Aziz Khan, a fine old 
soldier who had seen hard work with his regiment during the Mutiny, 
and in many a frontier expedition. He twice obtained the Order of 
Merit for bravery in the field, and for his marked gallantry on one 
occasion he had received a sword of honour and a Jchilat (a dress of 
honour or other present bestowed as a mark of distinction). Aziz 
Khan was shot through the knee, and after a few days the wound 
became so bad the Doctors told him that, unless he submitted to 
amputation, or consented to take some stimulants in the shape of 
wine, he would die of mortification. Aziz Khan, who was a strict 
and orthodox Mahomedan, replied that, as both remedies were 
contrary to the precepts of the religion by which he had guided 
his life, he would accept death rather than disobey them. He died 


within range of the Afghan shells, we moved a mile to the 
rear. Strong piquets were posted on the neighbouring 
heights, and the night passed without further interruption. 

We halted the two following days. Men and cattle were 
exhausted from their fatiguing marches, and supplies had 
to be brought up before we could advance further ; besides, 
I required time to look about me before making up my 
mind how the Peiwar Kotal could most advantageously be 

It was, indeed, a formidable position — a great deal more 
formidable than I had expected — on the summit of a 
mountain rising abruptly 2,000 feet above us, and only 
approachable by a narrow, steep, and rugged path, flanked 
on either side by precipitous spurs jutting out like huge 
bastions, from which an overwhelming fire could be 
brought to bear on the assailants. The mountain on 
the enemy's right did not look much more promising 
for moving troops, and I could only hope that a way 
might be found on their left by which their flank could 
be turned. The country, however, in that direction was 
screened from view by spurs covered with dense forests 
of deodar. 

I confess to a feeling very nearly akin to despair when 
I gazed at the apparently impregnable position towering 
above us, occupied, as I could discern through my tele- 
scope, by crowds of soldiers and a large number of guns. 

My Chief Engineer, Colonel Perkins,* made a recon- 
naissance, which only too surely confirmed Gordon's 
opinion ; and he further ascertained that a deep ravine lay 
between the ground occupied by our piquets on the 
* Now General Sir ^Eneas Perkins, K.C.B. 


north and the kotal, so that an attack on the enemy's 
immediate left seemed as hopeless as on his right, or 
to his front. 

On the afternoon of the 29th I sent my Quartermaster- 
General, Major Collett, with his assistant, Captain Carr, 
and a small escort, to the top of a hill, which lay to the 
right rear of our camp, from which they were able to get 
a fairly good view of the surrounding country. Collett 
reported that, so far as he could judge, it seemed likely 
that, as I had hoped, the enemy's left might be turned by 
a route over what was known as the Spingawi Kotal, 
where it had been ascertained that some Afghan troops 
were posted. This was encouraging, but before I could 
finally decide on adopting this line of attack, it was ex- 
pedient to find out whether it was practicable for troops, 
and whether the kotal itself was held in great strength. 
Accordingly, early next morning, Collett was again de- 
spatched to make a closer reconnaissance of the Spingawi 

While all this was going on, I did everything I could 
think of to prevent what was in my mind being suspected 
by the enemy or indeed by my own troops. Each day 
more than once, accompanied by an imposing number of 
officers and a considerable escort, I climbed the lofty spur 
by which a direct attack would have to be covered, 
and everyone in camp was made to believe that an attack 
in this direction was being prepared for. I was particularly 
careful to have this idea impressed on the Turis and the 
Afghan camel-drivers, by whom the enemy were pretty sure 
to be informed of what was going on ; and also on the 
Mahomedan sepoys, whom I suspected of being half-hearted. 


I confided my real plan to only three people, my two 
senior staff-officers, Galbraith and Collett, and my A.D.C., 
Pretyman, for I knew, from the nature of the country, that, 
under the most favourable circumstances, the way must 
be difficult and circuitous, and its passage must occupy 
several hours; and that if the Afghans got wind of the 
contemplated movement, and should attack my small force 
while on the march and divided, defeat if not annihilation 
would be inevitable, for the surrounding tribes would be 
certain to join against us if once they believed us to be in 

I had heard that the smallness of the column was 
being freely commented on and discussed ; indeed, people 
in Kuram did not care to disguise their belief that we 
were hastening to our destruction. Even the women 
taunted us. When they saw the little Gurkhas for the first 
time, they exclaimed : ' Is it possible that these beardless 
boys think they can fight Afghan warriors ?' They little 
suspected that the brave spirits which animated those 
small forms made them more than a match for the most 
stalwart Afghan. There was no hiding from ourselves, 
however, that the force was terribly inadequate for the 
work to be done. But done it must be. A retirement 
was not to be thought of, and delay would only add to 
our difficulties, as the Afghans were daily being reinforced 
from Kabul, and we heard of still further additions of 
both Artillery and Infantry being on their way. 

Collett returned soon after noon on the 30th ; he had 
done admirably, and brought me most useful information, 
the result of which was that I determined to adopt the 
Spingawi route. The nights were long, and I calculated 


that by starting at 10 p.m., and allowing for unforeseen 
delays, we should reach the foot of the pass while it was 
still dark. 

Fresh efforts were now made to distract the enemy's 
attention from the real point of attack. In addition to the 
reconnoitring parties which were ostentatiously moved 
towards the Peiwar, batteries were marked out at points 
commanding the kotal, and a great display was made of the 
arrival of the two Horse and three Field Artillery guns, 
which I had left at Kuram till the last moment on account 
of scarcity of forage at the front, and of the two squadrons 
of Bengal Cavalry, which for the same reason I had 
sent back to Habib Kila. Even with these additions the 
total strength of the force in camp, including British 
officers, amounted to only 889 Europeans and 2,415 
Natives, with 13 guns. 

' These attempts to mislead the enemy were entirely 
successful, for the Afghans shelled the working parties 
in' the "batteries, and placed additional guns in position 
on the, south side of the pass, showing distinctly that 
they were preparing for a front attack, while in our camp 
also it was generally believed that this was the movement 
which would be carried out the next morning. 

When it became sufficiently dark to conceal our pro- 
ceedings, all the commanding and staff officers assembled 
in my tent, and I disclosed to them my scheme for the 
attack, impressing upon them that success depended upon 
our being able to surprise the enemy, and begging of them 
not even to whisper the word ' Spingawi ' to each other. 

I had had sufficient time since I took over the command 
to test the capabilities of the officers and regiments upon 


whom I had to depend, so that I had now no difficulty in 
disposing the troops in the manner most likely to ensure 

For the turning movement I selected : 

4 guns F/A, E.H.A., 

The wing 72nd Highlanders, 

No. 1 Mountain Battery (4 guns), 

2nd and 29th Punjab Infantry, 

5th Gurkhas, 

23rd Pioneers — 

Total strength 2,263 men with 8 guns ; 
and I determined to command the attack myself, with 
Brigadier-General Thelwall as second in command. 

For the feint and for the defence of our camp I left 
under the command of Brigadier- General Cobbe : 

2 guns F/A, E.H.A., >^ 

3 guns G/3, K.A., .£%* 
2nd Battalion 8th Foot,* jfr 

12th Bengal Cavalry, 


5th Punjab Infantry. Dm^ 11 * 

In all, a little more than 1,000 men with 5 guns. 

At 10 p.m. on Sunday, the 1st December, the little 
column fell in, in absolute silence, and began its hazardous 
march. Tents were left standing and camp-fires burning; 
and so noiselessly were orders carried out that our de- 
parture remained unsuspected even by those of our own 
people who were left in camp. 

The track (for there was no road) led for two miles 
due east, and then, turning sharp to the north, entered a 

* The strength of [this battalion had now dwindled down to 348 


wide gorge and ran along the bed of a mountain stream. 
The moonlight lit up the cliffs on the eastern side of the 
ravine, but made the darkness only the more dense in the 
shadow of the steep hills on the west, underneath which 
our path lay, over piles of stones and heaps of glacier 
debris. A bitterly cold wind rushed down the gorge, 
extremely trying to all, lightly clad as we were in antici- 
pation of the climb before us. Onward and upwards we 
slowly toiled, stumbling over great boulders of rock, 
dropping into old water-channels, splashing through icy 
streams, and halting frequently to allow the troops in the 
rear to close up. 

In spite of the danger incurred, I was obliged every 
now and then to strike a match and look at my watch to 
see how the time was going. I had calculated, that, by 
starting as early as ten o'clock, there would be an hour or 
two to spare for rest. The distance, however, proved rather 
greater than was expected and the road much rougher, 
but these facts were, to my mind, not sufficient to account 
for the slowness of our progress, and I proceeded to the head 
of the column, anxious to discover the true cause of the delay. 

I had chosen the 29th Punjab Infantry to lead the 
way, on account of the high reputation of Colonel John 
Gordon, who commanded it, and because of the excellent 
character the regiment had always borne ; but on over- 
taking it my suspicions were excited by the unnecessarily 
straggling manner in which the men were marching, and 
to which I called Gordon's attention. No sooner had I 
done so than a shot was fired from one of the Pathan com- 
panies, followed in a few seconds by another. The Sikh 
companies of the regiment immediately closed up, and 

1878] A NIGHT ATTACK 139 

Gordon's Sikh orderly whispered in his ear that there was 
treachery amongst the Pathans. 

It was a moment of intense anxiety, for it was impossible 
to tell how far we were from the Spingawi Kotal, or whether 
the shots could be heard by the enemy ; it was equally im- 
possible to discover by whom the shots had been fired 
without delaying the advance, and this I was loath to 
risk. So, grieved though I was to take any steps likely 
to discredit a regiment with such admirable traditions, I 
decided to change the order of the march by bringing one 
company of the 72nd Highlanders and the 5th Gurkhas to 
the front, and I warned Lieutenant-Colonel Brownlow, in 
command of the 72nd, to keep a watch over the Pathans 
with his three remaining companies, for I felt that our 
enterprise had already been sufficiently imperilled by the 
Pathans, and that hesitation would be culpable ; for, unless 
we could reach the kotal while our approach was still con- 
cealed by the darkness, the turning movement would in 
all probability end in disaster. 

On the Gurkhas coming up, I told Major Fitz-Hugh, 
who commanded them, that the moment he reached the 
foot of the kotal, he must front form company, fix bayonets 
and charge up the slope without waiting for further orders. 

Soon afterwards, and just as the first streak of dawn 
proclaimed the approach of day, the enemy became aware 
of our presence, and fired into us, when instantly I heard 
Fitz-Hugh give the word to charge. Brownlow, at the 
head of his Highlanders, dashed forward in support, and 
two guns of the Mountain battery coming up at the 
moment, I ordered its Commandant, Captain Kelso, to 
come into action as soon as he could find a position. 


I was struck by the smile of satisfied pride and pleasure 
with which he received the order. He was delighted, no 
doubt, that the opportunity had arrived to prove what 
the battery — to perfect which he had spared neither time 
nor labour — could do ; but it was the last time that gallant 
soldier smiled, for a few seconds later he was shot dead. 

The Gurkhas, forgetting their fatigue, rapidly climbed 
the steep side of the mountain, and, swarming into the 
first entrenchment, quickly cleared it of the enemy ; then, 
guided by the flashes of the Afghan rifles, they pressed on, 
and, being joined by the leading company of the 72nd, 
took possession of a second and larger entrenchment 
200 yards higher up. Without a perceptible pause, the 
Highlanders and Gurkhas together rushed a third position, 
the most important of all, as it commanded the head of 
the pass. 

The Spingawi Kotal was won ; but we were surrounded 
by woods, which were crowded with Afghans, some 400 
of whom made a dashing but ineffectual attempt to carry 
off their guns, left behind in the first scare of our sudden 
attack. These men were dressed so exactly like some of 
our own Native soldiers that they were not recognized until 
they got within 100 yards of the entrenchment, and they 
would doubtless have succeeded in accomplishing their 
purpose — as the Highlanders and Gurkhas were busy pur- 
suing the fugitives — had not Galbraith, whom I had sent 
with an order to the front, hurriedly collected a certain 
number of stragglers and met the Afghans with such a 
murderous fire that they broke and fled, leaving seventy 
dead in a space of about fifty yards square. 

As the rising sun lighted up the scene of the conflict, the 


advantages of a night attack became more apparent. The 
pass lay across the shoulder of a mountain (9,400 feet 
above the sea), and through a magnificent pine forest. Its 
approaches were commanded by precipitous heights, de- 
fended by breastworks of felled trees, which completely 
screened the defenders, who were quite comfortably placed 
in wide ditches, from which they could fire deadly volleys 
without being in the least exposed themselves. Had we 
not been able to surprise the enemy before the day dawned, 
I doubt whether any of us could have reached the first 
entrenchment. As it was, the regiment holding it fled 
in such a hurry that a sheepskin coat and from sixty to a 
hundred rounds of ammunition were left behind on the 
spot where each man had lain. 

We had gained our object so far, but we were still a 
considerable distance from the body of the Afghan army 
on the Peiwar Kotal. 

Immediately in rear of the last of the three positions 
on the Spingawi Kotal was a murg, or open grassy plateau, 
upon which I re-formed the troops who had carried the 
assault. The 2nd Punjab Infantry, the 23rd Pioneers, 
and the battery of Koyal Horse Artillery were still behind ; 
but as the guns were being transported on elephants, I 
knew the progress of this part of the force must be slow, 
and thinking it unwise to allow the Afghans time to re- 
cover from their defeat, I determined to push on with the 
troops at hand. 

A field hospital was formed on the murg, and placed 
under a guard, ammunition-pouches were re-filled, and off 
we started again, choosing as our route the left of two hog- 
backed, thickly-wooded heights running almost longitudin- 


ally in the direction of the Peiwar Kotal, in the hope that 
from this route communication might be established with 
our camp below. I was not disappointed, for very soon 
Captain Wynne, in charge of the signalling, was able to 
inform Brigadier -General Cobbe of our progress, and 
convey to him the order to co-operate with me so far as 
his very limited numbers would permit. 

Our advance was at first unopposed, but very slow, owing 
to the density of the forest, which prevented our seeing 
any distance, and made it difficult to keep the troops 

At the end of two hours we arrived at the edge of a deep 
hollow, on the further side of which, 150 yards off, the 
enemy were strongly posted, and they at once opened fire 
upon us. 

Fancy my dismay at this critical moment on discover- 
ing that the Highlanders, Gurkhas, and the Mountain 
battery, had not come up ! They had evidently taken a 
wrong turn in the almost impenetrable forest, and I found 
myself alone with the 29th Punjab Infantry. Knowing that 
the missing troops could not be far off, I hoped that they 
would hear the firing, which was each moment becoming 
heavier ; but some time passed, and there were no signs 
of their approach. I sent staff officer after staff officer to 
search for them, until one only remained, the Eev. J. W. 
Adams, who had begged to be allowed to accompany me 
as Aide-de-camp for this occasion, and him I also despatched 
in quest of the missing troops. After some time, which 
seemed to me an age, he returned to report that no trace 
could he find of them ; so again I started him off in 
another direction. Feeling the situation was becoming 



serious, and expecting that the Afghans, encouraged by 
our inaction, would certainly attack us, I thought it 
advisable to make a forward movement ; but the attitude 
of the 29th was not encouraging. I addressed them, and 
expressed a hope that they would now by their behaviour 
wipe out the slur of disloyalty which the firing of the signal 
shots had cast upon the regiment, upon which Captain 
Channer,* who was just then in command, stepped forward, 
and said he would answer for the Sikhs ; but amongst the 
Pathans there was an ominous silence, and Channer agreed 
with me that they did not intend to fight. I therefore 
ordered Channer and his subaltern, Picot, to advance 
cautiously down the slope with the Sikhs of the regiment, 
following myself near enough to keep the party in sight. 
I had not gone far, however, before I found that the 
enemy were much too strongly placed to be attacked suc- 
cessfully by so few men ; accordingly I recalled Channer, 
and we returned to the position at the top of the hill. 

My orderlies f during this little episode displayed such 
touching devotion that it is with feelings of the most pro- 
found admiration and gratitude I call to mind their self- 

* Now Major-General Channer, V.C., C.B. 

t I had six orderlies attached to me — two Sikhs, two Gurkhas, and 
two Pathans. The Sikhs and Gurkhas never left me for a day during 
the two years I was in Afghanistan. The Pathans behaved equally 
well, but they fell sick, and had to be changed more than once. When- 
ever I emerged from my tent, two or more of the orderlies appeared 
and kept close by me. They had always good information as to what 
was going on, and I could generally tell whether there was likely to be 
trouble or not by the number in attendance ; they put themselves 
on duty, and decided how many were required. One of the Gurkhas 
is since dead, but the other and the two Sikhs served with me after- 
wards in Burma, and all three now hold the high position of Subadar 
in their respective regiments. 


sacrificing courage. On this (as on many other occasions) 
they kept close round me, determined that no shot should 
reach me if they could prevent it ; and on my being hit 
in the hand by a spent bullet, and turning to look round 
in the direction it came from, I beheld one of the Sikhs 
standing with his arms stretched out trying to screen me 
from the enemy, which he could easily do, for he was a 
grand specimen of a man, a head and shoulders taller than 

To my great relief, on my return to the edge of the 
hollow, Adams met me with the good tidings that he had 
found not only the lost troops, but the Native Infantry 
of the rear portion of the column, and had ascertained that 
the elephants with the guns were close at hand. 

Their arrival was most opportune, for the enemy had 
been reinforced, and, having discovered our numerical 
weakness, were becoming bolder ; they charged down the 
hill, and were now trying to force their way up to our 
position, but our Mountain guns were quickly brought 
into action, and under their cover another attempt was 
made to drive the Afghans from their position. The 23rd 
Pioneers, under the command of Colonel Currie, the two 
front companies led by Captain Anderson, moved down 
the slope, and were soon lost to view in the thick wood at 
the bottom of the dell ; when they reappeared it was, 
to my great disappointment, on the wrong side of the 
hollow : they had failed in the attack, and Anderson and 
some men had been killed. The enemy's position, it was 
found, could only be reached by a narrow causeway, which 
was swept by direct and cross fires, and obstructed by 
trunks of trees and a series of barricades. 



It was evident to me that under these circumstances the 
enemy could not be cleared out of their entrenchment 
by direct attack without entailing heavy loss, which I could 
ill afford and was most anxious to avoid. I therefore re- 
connoitred both flanks to find, if possible, a way round the 
hill. On our left front was a sheer precipice ; on the right, 
however, I discovered, to my infinite satisfaction, that we 
could not only avoid the hill which had defeated us, but 
could get almost in rear of the Peiwar Kotal itself, and 
threaten the enemy's retreat from that position. 

At this juncture I was further cheered by the arrival of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Perkins and Major McQueen, who, with 
the 5th Punjab Infantry, had worked their way up the 
steep mountain-side, in the hope of getting near to the 
Peiwar Kotal and co-operating with me. They were, how- 
ever, checked by the deep ravine I have before described, 
and guided by the sound of firing, pushed higher up the hill. 
They brought me word that the Artillery left in camp had 
opened fire on the kotal soon after daybreak, and had suc- 
ceeded in silencing two of the enemy's guns ; that our 
Infantry had crept up within 1,400 yards of the kotal, but 
were met by such a destructive fire that they could not 
advance further : that Brigadier-General Cobbe had been 
severely wounded, and that Colonel Barry Drew had 
assumed the command. Perkins also gave me the useful 
information that he had observed on his way up a spur from 
which the kotal position could be fired upon at a distance 
of 1,100 yards. To this spot I ordered Lieutenant Sherries, 
who had succeeded poor Kelso in command of the Mountain 
battery, to take his guns, and I asked Perkins to return and 
tell Drew to press on to the kotal, in the hope that Sherries's 

vol. 11. 42 


fire and the turning movement I was about to make would 
cause the enemy to retreat. 

I sent the 29th Punjab Infantry back to the Spingawi 
to protect the wounded. I left the 2nd Punjab Infantry in 
the position we had up till now been occupying, and I took 
McQueen's regiment with me. 

A few rounds from the Mountain battery, and the fact 
that their rear was threatened and their retreat about 
to be cut off, soon produced signs of wavering amongst 
the Afghans. Their Artillery fire slackened, their Infantry 
broke, and about 2 p.m. Drew and Hugh Gough found it 
possible to make a move towards the Peiwar Kotal. Gough 
was the first to reach the crest, closely followed by Lieu- 
tenant Brabazon, his orderly officer, and a fine plucky Dogra 
named Birbul. They were soon joined by some hundreds 
of Turi levies collected by Waterfield and by the 8th Foot. 
Another body of levies under Major Palmer,* who had 
done good service by making a feint on the right of the 
Afghan position, arrived about the same time. Plunder 
was of course the sole object of the Turis, but their 
co-operation at the moment was useful, and helped to swell 
our small numbers. The enemy having evacuated their 
stronghold and retreated by the Alikhel road, abandoning 
in their headlong flight guns, waggons, and baggage, were 
pursued by Hugh Gough, whose Cavalry had by this time 
come up. 

The Peiwar Kotal was not visible from the route we had 
taken, but just before daylight had quite gone I could make 
out with the aid of my telescope a large body of Afghans 
moving towards the Shutargardan, which made me feel 

* Now Major- General Sir Arthur Palmer, K.C.B. 


quite satisfied that the enemy's position was in our 

Night overtook us before we could reach the kotal, and . 
as everyone was thoroughly tired out, having been hard at 
work since 10 p.m. the night before, with but little food, I 
thought it better to bivouac where we were, on the southern 
slope of the Sika Earn mountain. It was hardly a pleasant 
experience lying on the ground without even cloaks at an 
elevation of 9,000 feet, and with the thermometer marking 
twenty degrees of frost ; but spite of cold and hunger, 
thoroughly content with the day's work, and with my mind 
at rest, I slept as soundly as I had ever done in the most 
luxurious quarters, and I think others did the same. At 
any rate, no one that I could hear of suffered from that 
night's exposure. 

We continued our march at daybreak, and reached the 
kotal in an hour. 

The examination of the enemy's position was very 
interesting. It was of enormous natural strength, the 
dispositions made for its defence were most complete and 
judicious, and the impossibility of taking it by other than 
a turning movement was proved beyond a doubt; it 
extended from the Spingawi to some commanding heights 
nearly a mile south of the Peiwar Kotal ; thus having 
a front of about four miles facing due east. From right 
to left the position ran along a lofty and rugged range 
of mountains, clothed with dense pine-forests. Towards 
the eastern side the range was precipitous, but descended 
on the west by a succession of upland meadows to the 
valley of the Hariab ; it was crossed by only two roads, 
viz., the Peiwar and Spingawi Kotals, at a few other points 


there were paths, but too narrow and precipitous for the 
passage of troops. 

The Peiwar Kotal is a narrow depression in the ridge, 
commanded on each side by high pine-clad mountains. 
The approach to it from the Kuram valley was up a steep, 
narrow, zigzag path, commanded throughout its entire 
length from the adjacent heights, and difficult to ascend on 
account of the extreme roughness of the road, which was 
covered with large fragments of rocks and boulders. Every 
point of the ascent was exposed to fire from both guns and 
rifles, securely placed behind breastworks constructed of 
pine-logs and stones. At the top of the pass was a narrow 
plateau, which was again commanded from the thickly- 
wooded heights on each side, rising to an elevation of 500 

The Afghan Commander had been quite confident of 
success, and was only waiting for reinforcements to attack 
our camp; but these reinforcements did not arrive until 
the afternoon of the 1st December, just too late for him 
to carry out his intention. He had under his command 
eight Regular regiments of the Afghan army, and eighteen 
guns ; while these numbers were augmented by hordes of 
neighbouring tribesmen, who were only too glad to respond 
to the cry of a jahad against the infidel, firmly believing 
that as true believers their cause would be victorious. 

Our loss at the Peiwar was not great — 2 officers and 
18 men killed, and 3 officers and 75 men wounded. The 
Afghans suffered much more severely, besides leaving in 
our possession all their guns, with quantities of ammu- 
nition and other warlike stores. 

[ 149 ] 


Perceiving that further pursuit of the enemy would be 
useless, I decided to halt a few days to admit of our over- 
taxed transport bringing up supplies and tents, and to 
arrange for the occupation of the Peiwar position during 
the winter months. But I considered that my work 
would be incomplete if we stopped short of the Shutar- 
gardan Pass. Moreover, it was very desirable that we 
should investigate this route, and, if possible, get into 
friendly communication with some of the sections of the 
Ghilzai tribe. The Jajis, through whose territory the first 
part of the road ran, now showed themselves to be as 
well disposed as the Turis ; they readily brought in 
supplies, and volunteered to labour for us, and from the 
information obtained by the political officers, the inhabitants 
of the Hariab valley seemed equally anxious to be friendly. 
The dislodgment of the Afghan army by a much smaller 
force, from a position they had themselves chosen, had 
evidently had a salutary effect. 

As soon as I had leisure, I inquired from Colonel Gordon 
whether he had been able to discover the men who had 
fired the signal shots on the night of the 2nd, and whether 
he did not think that the Pathan Native officers ought to be 


able to point out the offenders. Gordon replied that he 
suspected the Jemadar of the Pathan company knew who 
the culprits were, and that one soldier had confessed to 
firing the second shot ; moreover, he told me that eighteen 
Pathans had left the regiment during the fight. On 
receiving this unpleasant information, I assembled a 
Court of Inquiry, with orders to have the proceedings ready 
for my consideration by the time I returned from the 

Having despatched the sick and wounded to Kuram 
and made all necessary arrangements, I marched on the 
6th December to Alikhel, twelve miles on the road to 
the Shutargardan. Before starting, I issued an order 
thanking the troops for the efforts they had made to ensure 
success, and I had the honour of communicating to them at 
the same time a congratulatory message from the Queen.* 

We reached the foot of the Shutargardan on the 8th, 
and reconnoitred to the top of the pass the next morning. 
This point was 11,000 feet above the sea, commanded a 
fine view of the Logar valley, and I discovered from it 
that there was nothing between us and the immediate 
vicinity of Kabul to prevent a force moving rapidly on that 

* ' From the Viceroy, Lahore, to General Eoberts. 

' 6th December, 1878. 
4 1 have much pleasure in communicating to you and the force under 
your command the following telegram just received from Her Majesty, 
and desire at the same time to add my warm congratulations on the 
success achieved. Message begins : "I have received the news of the 
decisive victory of General Eoberts, and the splendid behaviour of my 
brave soldiers, with pride and satisfaction, though I must ever deplore 
the unavoidable loss of life. Pray inquire after the wounded in my 
name. May we continue to receive good news." ' 

1878] ALIKHEL 151 

We returned to Alikhel on the 10th. Captain Kenwick 
was placed in political charge, and Colonel Waterfield, as a 
temporary arrangement, remained there also with a battery 
of Artillery and two regiments of Punjab Infantry, for the 
purpose of establishing friendly relations with the neigh- 
bouring tribesmen. 

From Alikhel there were said to be two roads leading to 
Kuram, besides the difficult path over the Peiwar Kotal ; 
and as it was of great importance to gain a knowledge of 
an alternative line of communication, in view of further 
trouble, I determined to explore one of them, choosing that 
which appeared to be the shortest, and which I heard had 
been used some time before by an Afghan Mountain battery. 
This route was described as practicable for camels, and ran 
through lands belonging to tribes whose headmen were 
with me, a fact which should, I thought, ensure our being 
free from attack. 

I left Alikhel on the 12th December, taking with me 
No. 1 Mourltain Battery, a wing 72nd Highlanders, the 5th 
Gurkhas, and the 23rd Pioneers. The route lay for four 
miles along the banks of the Hariab stream, a tributary of 
the Kuram river, through a valley which gradually narrowed 
into a thickly- wooded ravine, three miles long; at the end 
of this ravine the road, turning sharply to the left, ascended 
till it reached an open grassy plateau, on which stood the 
hamlet of Sapari. The inhabitants turned out to welcome us, 
bringing supplies, and appearing so friendly that I settled 
to halt there for the night. I had been Warned, however, 
by the maliks of some of the villages we had passed through 
in the morning, that we should probably be attacked on the 
march the next day, and that a defile which lay at the other 


side of a mountain over which we had to cross would be 
particularly dangerous to us. I determined, therefore, to 
send on troops that evening to occupy the pass over this 
mountain, and to start the baggage off long before day- 
break, so that it should be out of the way of the main 
body, which would also have to march at an early hour in 
order to reach the kotal before the tribesmen had time to 

This could have been accomplished without difficulty, but 
for the machinations of our false friends in the village, who 
directed on to the precipitous path we had to ascend a 
stream of water which soon turned into a sheet of ice, and 
when I arrived on the spot I found the road blocked by 
fallen animals vainly struggling to regain their footing. 
This caused so much delay that it was nearly noon before 
the last camel had got over the pass. 

The descent on the other side was scarcely less difficult, 
though free from ice. We dropped 3,000 feet in the first 
two miles, down a way which can only be described as a 
ruined staircase, with the steps missing at intervals, ending 
in the defile against the dangers of which we had been 
warned. This defile was certainly a nasty place to be 
caught in, being five miles long, and so narrow that the 
camels' loads struck against the rocks on either side ; and 
it was impossible to move flanking parties along the cliffs 
above, as they were intersected by wide chasms running 
back for long distances. 

It was important to secure the exit from this gorge with- 
out delay, and for this purpose I pushed on four companies 
of the 23rd Pioneers, and in support, when the ravine 
began to widen out a little, I hurried on the Highlanders 


and the Mountain battery, leaving the Gurkhas to protect 
the baggage and bring up the rear. 

We only got possession of the exit just in time. The 
Pioneers, by occupying commanding positions on either 
side of the opening, effectually checkmated several large 
bodies of armed men who were approaching from different 
directions, and whose leaders now declared they had only 
come to help us ! Later on we discovered still more formid- 
able gatherings, which doubtless would have all combined 
to attack us, had they been in time to catch us in the 

The tail of the column was followed and much harassed 
by the enemy ; but they were kept at bay by the steadiness 
of the gallant Gurkhas, and so successful were they in safe- 
guarding the baggage, that, although many of the drivers 
ran away at the first shot, leaving the soldiers to lead the 
animals as well as defend them, not a single article fell into 
the hands of the tribesmen. The regiment lost three 
men killed, and Captain Powell and eleven men wounded. 
Captain Goad, of the Transport Department, was also 
badly hurt.* 

On Goad being knocked over, Sergeant Greer, of the 
72nd Highlanders, assisted by three privates, picked him 
up, and having placed him under cover of a rock, they 
turned their attention to the enemy. They were only four 
against large numbers, but by their cool and steady use of 
the Martini-Henry rifle, which had shortly before been 
issued to the British soldiers in India, they were enabled to 
hold their ground until help arrived, when they succeeded 
in carrying the wounded officer away. 

* Both officers died of their wounds soon afterwards. 


I had observed in the advance on the Peiwar Kotal the 
skill and gallantry displayed by Sergeant Greer, and noted 
him as a man fitted for promotion. His distinguished con- 
duct in rescuing and defending Goad confirmed me in my 
opinion, and I accordingly recommended him for a com- 
mission, which, to my great gratification, Her Majesty was 
graciously pleased to bestow upon him. 

That night we halted at the village of Keria ; thence the 
route was easy enough, so, leaving the troops to rest and 
recover from the last hard march, I rode on to Kuram, 
where there was much to be done. 

The ejectment of the Afghan ruler of Khost and the 
exploration of that valley formed, it will be remembered, 
part of the programme given to me to carry through, and 
it was very desirable that this service should be completed 
before the winter rains set in. Peace and order now reigned 
in Upper Kuram and in the neighbourhood of the Peiwar ; 
but there was a good deal of excitement in the lower part of 
the valley and in Khost, our line of communication was 
constantly harassed by raiders, convoys were continually 
threatened, outposts fired into, and telegraph-wires cut. 
The smallness of my force made it difficult for me to deal 
with these troubles, so I applied to the Commander-in-Chief 
for the wing of the 72nd Highlanders left at Kohat, and 
the 5th Punjab Cavalry at Thai to be ordered to join me 
at Kuram. At the same time I moved up No. 2 Moun- 
tain Battery and the 28th Punjab Infantry, sending the 
29th Punjab Infantry to take the place of the 28th at 

I was greatly hampered by want of transport. Arrange- 
ments had to be made for sending the sick and wounded, 


as well as the captured guns, to Kohat (the sight of the 
latter, I fancied, would have a good effect on the tribes 
in our rear) ; but hard work, scarcity of forage, and 
absence of supervision, had told, as was to be expected, 
on animals in bad condition at the outset. Mules and 
camels died daily, reducing our all too small numbers to 
such an extent that it was with considerable difficulty the 
convoy was at last despatched. 

From the first I foresaw that want of transport would be 
our greatest difficulty, and so it proved ; very few supplies 
could be obtained in the vicinity of Kuram ; the troops at 
Kohat had been drawing on the adjacent districts ever since 
October, so that the purchasing agents had every day to go 
further away to procure necessaries, and consequently an 
increased number of animals were required for their con- 
veyance. My Commissary-General reported to me that only 
a few days' provisions for the troops remained in hand, and 
that it was impossible to lay in any reserve unless more 
transport could be provided. About this reserve I was very 
anxious, for the roads might soon become temporarily im- 
passable from the rising of the rivers after the heavy rain 
to be expected about Christmas. Contractors were des- 
patched to all parts of the country to procure camels, and 
I suggested to Government that pack-bullocks should be 
bought at Mirzapur, and railed up country, which sugges- 
tion being acted upon, the danger of the troops having to go 
hungry was warded off. 

The treacherous soldiers of the 29th Punjab Infantry had 
now to be dealt with — a necessary, but most unpleasant, 
duty. A perusal of the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry 
satisfied me that the two men who discharged their rifles 


during the night-march, the Jemadar of their company who 
failed to report their criminal action, and the eighteen who 
deserted their colours during the engagement, should all be 
tried by Court-Martial. 

The prisoners were found guilty. The sepoy who fired 
the first shot was sentenced to death, and the one who dis- 
charged the second to two years' imprisonment with hard 
labour ; the court, recognizing a possibility that the latter, 
being a young soldier, might have loaded and fired without 
intending treachery, gave him the benefit of the doubt. 
The Jemadar was awarded seven years' transportation, and 
the eighteen deserters terms varying from ten years to one 

It was with deep regret that I confirmed these several 
sentences, but it was necessary that a deterrent example 
should be made. Treachery was altogether too grave a 
crime to be lightly dealt with, and desertions amongst the 
Pathans were becoming of much too frequent occurrence, 
particularly as the deserters invariably carried away with 
them their rifles and ammunition. 

The effect of these sentences was most salutary; there 
was not a single desertion subsequent to the Court-Martial 
for more than a year, although during that time the 
Mahomedan portion of my force were severely tried by 
appeals from their co-religionists. 

On Christmas Eve authentic intelligence was brought to 
me that, on hearing of the defeat of the Afghan army, Sher 
AH, with the members of the Kussian Mission then at 
Kabul, had fled to Turkestan, and that his son, Yakub 
Khan, had been released from prison, and had assumed the 
reins of Government. 


About this time, also, Sir Samuel Browne, who was at 
Jalalabad, received a letter* from the Amir, in which he 
announced his intention of proceeding to St. Petersburg to 
lay his case before the Czar and obtain the aid of Eussia. 

Sher Ali's disappearance and Yakub Khan's assumption 
of authority suggested new possibilities to the Viceroy, who 
at once instructed Major Cavagnari, the political officer 
with the Khyber column, to communicate, if possible, with 
Yakub Kkan, and explain to him that our quarrel was with 
Sher Ali alone, that he might rest assured of the friendly 
disposition of the British Government towards him per- 

* ' From Amir Sher Ali Khan to the Officers of the 
British Government. 

' Be it known to the officers of the British Government that this 
suppliant before God never supposed, nor wished, that the matters [in 
dispute] between you and myself should come to this issue [literally, 
11 should come out from the curtain "], or that the veil of friendship 
and amity, which has for many years been upheld between two neigh- 
bours and adjoining States, should, without any cause, be thus drawn 

'And since you have begun the quarrel and hostilities, and have 
advanced on Afghan territory, this suppliant before God, with the 
unanimous consent and advice of all the nobles, grandees, and of the 
army in Afghanistan, having abandoned his troops, his realm, and all 
the possessions of his crown, has departed with expedition, accompanied 
by a few attendants, to St. Petersburg, the capital of the Czar of 
Eussia, where, before a congress, the whole history of the transactions 
between myself and yourselves will be submitted to all the Powers [of 
Europe]. If you have anything in dispute with me regarding State 
affairs in Afghanistan, you should institute and establish your case at 
St. Petersburg, and state and explain what you desire, so that the 
questions in dispute between us may be made known and clear to all 
the Powers. And surely the side of right will not be overlooked. If 
your intentions are otherwise, and you entertain hostile and vindictive 
feelings towards the people of Afghanistan, God alone is their Protector 
and real Preserver. Upon the course of action here above stated this 
suppliant before God has resolved and decided.' 


sonally, and that, unless he took the initiative, hostilities 
would not be resumed. 

Before proceeding to Kuram, I invited all the Turis 
and Jajis who had afforded us assistance to meet me in 
durbar that they might be suitably rewarded. A goodly 
number responded to the invitation, and were told, in 
accordance with the instructions I had received from the 
Government of India, that they would henceforth be under 
British protection ; that no Amir of Afghanistan should 
ever again be permitted to tyrannize over them ; that 
while they would be expected to live peaceably, neither 
their religion nor their customs would be interfered with ; 
that roads would be made and markets established, and 
that whatever supplies they could provide for the use of 
the troops would be liberally paid for. 

After this I started for Khost, accompanied by Colonel 
Waterfield, the political officer. 

The column I took with me consisted of the squadron of 
the 10th Hussars, 200 of the 72nd Highlanders, a wing of 
the 5th Punjab Cavalry, the 21st and 28th Punjab Infantry, 
and Nos. 1 and 2 Mountain Batteries. The corps were so 
weak that their total strength only amounted to 2,000 

We reached Matun, the name given to some three villages 
grouped round a small fort in the centre of the valley, on 
the 6th January, 1879. The Afghan Governor, with whom 
I had been in communication, met me and arranged to 
surrender the fort, on condition that his personal safety 
should be guaranteed, and that he should be allowed to go 
either to Kabul or India, as he might desire. 

About half a mile from the fort I halted the column, and 

1879] KHOST 159 

taking a small escort of the 10th Hussars, I rode on with 
the Governor, who invited me with my staff into his house. 
While tea was being handed round, the Governor (Akram 
Khan by name) warned me that we should be attacked, and 
that he could do nothing to prevent it, having only some 
200 local militia and no regular troops. He further said 
that the inhabitants of the valley were not directly opposed 
to the British Government, and, if left to themselves, would 
give no trouble ; but he doubted their being able to resist 
the pressure put upon them by a large number of tribesmen 
who had collected from the adjacent districts, attracted by 
the smallness of the force, which they believed ' had been 
delivered into their hands.' 

This intelligence showed me I must be prepared for a 
scrimmage, so I ordered the camp to be pitched in the 
form of a square as compactly as possible, with the trans- 
port animals and impedimenta in the centre, and strong 
piquets at the four angles. Cavalry patrols were sent out 
as far as the broken and hilly nature of the ground would 
permit, and every endeavour was made to ascertain the 
strength and whereabouts of the enemy, but to no pur- 
pose : the enemy were invisible, and the patrols reported 
that they had come across numbers of peaceable-looking 
husbandmen, but no one else. 

The night passed off quietly, but when advancing day 
made them visible, multitudes of tribesmen were descried 
collecting on the slopes of the neighbouring hills. Some 
friendly Natives were sent to ascertain their intentions, 
followed by a Cavalry reconnoitring party, when suddenly 
a number of camel-drivers and mule-men, who had gone to 
the nearest villages to procure fodder for their animals, 


came rushing back to camp in the wildest terror and excite- 
ment, declaring that the enemy seemed to rise as if by 
magic out of the ground, and that several thousands were 
already in the village. No doubt some of these were ' the 
peaceable-looking husbandmen' the patrols had encountered 
the previous day. I now became somewhat anxious, not only 
for the safety of the reconnoitring party, which appeared 
to be in danger of being cut off, but for that of the whole 
force ; such a mere handful as we were compared to the 
numbers arrayed against us. 

Vigorous action was evidently necessary. Accordingly, 
I ordered all the available Cavalry (only 70 men of the 
10th Hussars, and 155 of the 5th Punjab Cavalry), under 
Colonel Hugh Gough, to follow the reconnoitring party in 
case of their being so hard pressed as to have to retire, 
and Captain Swinley's Mountain battery, with six com- 
panies of the 28th Punjab Infantry, under Colonel Hudson,* 
to move out in support. Colonel Drew I left in charge of 
the camp, with 200 Highlanders, the 21st Punjab Infantry, 
and a Mountain battery. I myself joined Gough, who, by 
dismounted fire and several bold charges, notwithstanding 
the difficult nature of the ground, succeeded in driving 
the enemy to the highest ridges, over which Swinley's 
well-directed fire eventually forced them to retreat. 

Heavy firing was now heard in the direction of our camp, 
and I hurried back, taking with me a troop of the 5th Punjab 
Cavalry. I found that during my absence Drew had been 
attacked on two sides ; he had been able to prevent 
the enemy from coming to close quarters, but they were 

* The late Lieutenant -General Sir John Hudson, K.C.B., who died 
as Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay Army. 


still hovering about at no great distance, and I thought it 
advisable to clear them away by moving out against them 
with all the troops at my disposal. As we approached, 
they disappeared with their usual rapidity ; the 5th Punjab 
Cavalry, however, got in amongst some of them, and we 
returned to camp with 100 prisoners, 500 head of cattle, 
some sheep, and a large quantity of grain. 

The tribesmen, however, had not been sufficiently punished 
to prevent a repetition of the attack, probably with largely 
increased numbers ; so I ordered the destruction of the 
hamlets nearest us, in which they had been sheltered 
and some of our camp followers had been murdered. 

The next night a most unfortunate occurrence took place, 
resulting in the death of six of our prisoners ; but it was just 
one of those things which could hardly have been foreseen 
or guarded against, and for which, however lamentable, no 
one was to blame. The headmen of the particular Waziri 
tribe to which the captives belonged had been summoned 
during the day, and told that the men would be released 
on payment of a sum of fifty rupees each. The money 
was paid down at once for a certain number, who were 
immediately set free ; but there was not quite enough 
for all, and the headmen went off to procure what was 
required for the ransom of the remainder. Soon after 
dark, however, some of the enemy* were discovered creep- 
ing up the banks of a nulla at the back of the camp, where 
the unransomed men were detained under a guard ; the 
nearest sentry instantly fired, and the piquets all round 
took up the firing, thinking that another attack on the 

* No doubt friends of the prisoners, who had come to help them to 

vol. ii. 43 


camp had commenced. At the sound of the first shot the 
prisoners all jumped to their feet, and, calling to each 
other to escape, attempted to seize the rifles belonging 
to the guard, upon which the Native officer in command 
(a Pathan like themselves) told them that if they per- 
sisted in trying to escape, they would be shot. His words 
had no effect, and to prevent his men being overpowered, 
he gave the order to fire. Six of the prisoners were killed 
and thirteen wounded. It was a most regrettable affair, 
but a Court of Inquiry decided that the Native officer had 
no option, and completely exonerated the guard from acting 
with undue severity. The wounded were, of course, 
taken to our hospital, and well cared for by our 

The remainder of our sojourn in Khost was not marked 
by any incident of particular interest. We marched to the 
end of the valley, and made a careful survey of it and of 
the surrounding hills. 

The instructions I received with regard to Khost were, to 
occupy the valley and dislodge the Afghan administration 
therefrom. To my great chagrin, the smallness of my force 
made it impossible for me to give effect to these instructions 
as I could have wished. To have remained in Khost under 
the circumstances would have been to court disaster ; the 
numbers of the enemy were daily increasing, and it would 

* This occurrence was made great capital of by the anti-war party 
at home. A member of the House of Commons, in commenting upon 
it, said that ' some ninety prisoners, who had been taken, had been 
tied together with ropes ' ; that ' on their making some attempt to 
escape they were set upon, and many of them slaughtered in their 
bonds ' ; and that ' the dead, the living, the dying, and the wounded 
were left tied together, and lying in one confused mass of bodies.' 


have been impossible to hold our own. It was, however, 
of great importance, if practicable, to retain some control 
over the valley, a peculiarly productive district, which, if 
left alone by us, I feared would become a centre of 
dangerous intrigue against any settled government in 
Kuram. Accordingly I determined to try how placing 
Khost in charge of one of our own Native officials would 
answer, and I selected for the position Shahzada Sultan 
Jan, a Saddozai gentleman of good birth, and a Sunni 
Mahomedan in religion, who, I thought, would be a 
persona grata to the Khostwals, and, if supported by some 
Native levies, and associated in his administrative duties 
with the chief maliks of Khost, would be more likely to 
hold his own than anyone else I could place there This 
was, however, a mere experiment, and I did not disguise 
from myself that its success was very doubtful; but it 
was the only way in which I could attempt to carry out 
the orders of Government, my hands being so completely 
tied by paucity of troops. I had no fear for the Shahzada's 
personal safety, and I felt that, if in the end I should be 
obliged to abandon Khost altogether for the present, it 
could later, if necessary, be easily re-occupied with a some- 
what larger force. 

Having decided on the course to be adopted, I held a 
durbar, which was numerously attended, and addressed the 
people of Khost in much the same way I had spoken to the 
Turis in Kuram, expressing a hope that they would support 
the Shahzada's authority until a more permanent form of 
government could be established. 

On the 27th January we left Khost and made one 
march; the next day I halted, so as to be near the 


Shahzada in case of need. The intelligence brought to 
me that evening satisfied me that my experiment would 
not answer, and that without troops (which I could not 
spare) to support the newly- established authority at first 
starting off, we could not hope to maintain any hold over 
the country ; for though the Khostwals themselves were 
perfectly content with the arrangements I had made, they 
could not resist the tribesmen, who directly our backs were 
turned began to show their teeth. Accordingly, I decided 
to bring the Shahzada away while I could do so without 
trouble. I marched back to Matun the next morning 
with 1,000 men (Cavalry and Infantry) and four Mountain 
guns. We found Sultan Jan in anything but a happy 
frame of mind, and quite ready to come away. So having 
formally made the place over to the maliks, we started 
on our return journey. As we departed, a collection of 
our tribal enemies (about 3,000) who had been watching 
the proceedings took the opportunity to attack us ; but 
two weak squadrons of Cavalry, skilfully handled by Hugh 
Gough, kept them in check, and we reached camp without 
further molestation. 

The next day, the last of January, we returned to Hazir 
Pir in Kuram. There I received a visit from Sirdar Wali 
Mahomed Khan, brother of Sher Ali, who was accompanied 
by several leading men of the Logar valley, some of whom 
were of great assistance to me a few months later. Wali 
Mahomed was a man of about fifty years of age ; he had 
a pleasing countenance, of the same Jewish type as the 
majority of the Afghan nation, but he had a weak face and 
was evidently wanting in character. He told me that he 
had fled from Kabul to escape the vengeance of his nephew, 


Yakub Khan, who attributed his long imprisonment by his 
father to the Sirdar's influence. Sir Samuel Browne and 
Major Cavagnari, on the Khyber line, were conducting all 
political negotiations with the Afghans, so I passed Wali 
Mahomed Khan on to them. 

During the month of February my time was chiefly em- 
ployed in inspecting the roads and the defensive posts 
which my talented and indefatigable Chief Engineer was 
constructing, examining the arrangements for housing the 
troops, and looking after the transport animals and Com- 
missariat depots. No more military demonstrations were 
necessary, for the people were quietly settling down under 
British rule. Convoys were no longer molested nor tele- 
graph wires cut ; but I had one rather unpleasant incident 
with regard to a war Correspondent, which, until the 
true facts of the case were understood, brought me into 
disrepute with one of the leading London newspapers, the 
representative of which I felt myself compelled to dismiss 
from the Kuram Field Force. 

Judging from his telegrams, which he brought to me to 
sign, the nerves of the Correspondent in question must have 
been somewhat shaken by the few and very distant shots 
fired at us on the 28th November. These telegrams being 
in many instances absolutely incorrect and of the most 
alarming nature, were of course not allowed to be despatched 
until they had been revised in accordance with truth ; 
but one, evidently altered and added to after I had 
countersigned it, was brought to me by the telegraph 
master. I sent for the Correspondent, who confessed to 
having made the alterations, not apparently realizing that 
he had done anything at all reprehensible, but he promised 


that he would never do such a thing again. This promise 
was not kept ; telegrams appeared in his paper which I 
had not seen before despatch, and which were most mis- 
leading to the British public. Moreover, his letters, over 
which I could have no control, and which I heard of for the 
first time when the copies of his paper arrived in Kuram, 
were most subversive of the truth. It was on the receipt 
of these letters that I felt it to be my duty to send the too 
imaginative author to the rear. 

No one could be more anxious than I was to have 
all details of the campaign made public. I considered it 
due to the people of Great Britain that the press Corre- 
spondents should have every opportunity for giving the 
fullest and most faithful accounts of what might happen 
while the army was in the field, and I took special pains 
from the first to treat the Correspondents with confidence, 
and give them such information as it was in my power to 
afford. All I required from them in return was that the 
operations should be truthfully reported, and that any 
Correspondent who did not confine himself to the recording 
of facts, and felt himself competent to criticize the conduct 
of the campaign, should be careful to acquaint himself 
with the many and varied reasons which a Commander 
must always have to consider before deciding on any line 
of action. 

What to my mind was so reprehensible in this Corre- 
spondent's conduct was the publication, in time of war, 
and consequent excitement and anxiety at home, of in- 
correct and sensational statements, founded on information 
derived from irresponsible and uninformed sources, and 
the alteration of telegrams after they had been counter- 


signed by the recognized authority, the result of which 
could only be to keep the public in a state of apprehension 
regarding the force in the field, and, what is even more to 
be deprecated, to weaken the confidence of the troops in 
their Commander. It was satisfactory to me that my 
action in the matter met with the fullest approval of 
the Viceroy. 

About this time my column was strengthened by the 
arrival of the Contingent provided by the Punjab Chiefs, 
under the command of Brigadier General John Watson, 
my comrade of the Mutiny days. The Contingent consisted 
of 868 Cavalry, and 2,685 Infantry with 13 guns, which 
were placed in position along the line of communication, 
and proved of great use in relieving the Eegular army of 
escort duty. The senior Native officer with the Punjabis 
was Bakshi Ganda Sing, Commander-in-Chief of the 
Patiala army, a particularly handsome, gentlemanly Sikh, 
with whom I have ever since been on terms of friendly 

Towards the end of February I paid a visit to Kohat, 
where my wife met me ; we spent a week together, and I 
had the pleasure of welcoming to the frontier that grand 
regiment, the 92nd Highlanders, which had been sent up to 
be in readiness to join my column in the event of an 
advance on Kabul becoming necessary. 

[ i68 ] 


I was informed by the Viceroy's Private Secretary in the 
beginning of March that, unless satisfactory arrangements 
could soon be come to with Yakub Khan, an onward move 
would have to be made. Accordingly I now set about pre- 
paring for such a contingency. 

Sher Ali had died in Afghan Turkestan on the 21st 
February, and, in communicating the event to the Viceroy, 
Yakub Khan wrote that he was anxious matters might 
-be so arranged that ' the friendship of this God-granted 
State with the illustrious British Government may remain 
constant and firm.' 

The new Amir was told in reply that Lord Lytton was 
prepared to enter into negotiations for the conclusion of 
peace, and for the restoration of a friendly alliance between 
the two Governments, provided that his Highness re- 
nounced all claim to authority over the Khyber and Michni 
Passes, and the independent tribes inhabiting the territory 
directly connected with the main routes leading to India ; 
that the district of Kuram from Thai to the crest of 
the Shutargardan Pass, and the districts of Pishin and 
Sibi, should remain under the control of the British 
Government ; that the foreign relations of Afghanistan 

1879] SHER ALVS DEATH 169 

should be conducted in accordance with the advice and 
wishes of the British Government ; and that British officers 
should be accredited to the Kabul Government, and per- 
mitted to reside at such places as might hereafter be 
decided upon. 

Yakub Khan's reply was not altogether satisfactory. He 
agreed to British officers being deputed to Afghanistan on 
the understanding that they should reside in Kabul, and 
abstain from interference in State affairs ; but he declined 
to renounce his authority over the Khyber and Michni 
Passes and the tribes in their vicinity, and refused to 
consent to Kuram, Pishin, and Sibi being placed under 
British protection. 

The Viceroy now determined to try what a personal 
conference between the Amir and Cavagnari could effect 
towards a settlement of these vexed questions, so in answer- 
ing the Amir Cavagnari was directed to convey a hint that 
an invitation to him to visit Kabul might be productive of 
good results, and to point out that the places we desired 
to occupy were looked upon as essential to the permanent 
security of the Indian frontier. The Amir replied, ex- 
pressing his readiness to receive Cavagnari in his capital, 
and laying stress on his determination to regulate his 
future conduct in strict conformity with his professions of 
loyalty, but begged that he might not be called upon to 
cede any portion of his territory. 

Hardly had this letter, dated the 29th March, been 
received, than a proclamation addressed by Yakub to the 
Khagianis, a tribe which had been giving much trouble, 
was intercepted and brought to Cavagnari ; in it the 
Amir praised and complimented the Khagianis for their 


religious zeal and fidelity to himself. He exhorted them 
to have no fear of the infidels, against whom he was 
about to launch an irresistible force of troops and Ghazis, 
and wound up as follows : ' By the favour of God, and in 
accordance with the verse " Verily God has destroyed 
the powerful ones," the whole of them will go to the 
fire of hell for evermore. Therefore kill them to the 
extent of your ability.' A curious commentary this on the 
Amir's protestation of loyalty. 

Notwithstanding this piece of treachery, it was decided 
not to break off negotiations, and Yakub Khan was in- 
formed by Cavagnari that a Mission would proceed to 
Kabul so soon as the necessary arrangements could be 
made for its reception. At the same time Lord Lytton 
himself wrote to the Amir, telling him that, as he was 
willing to receive an Envoy, Cavagnari would be deputed to 
visit Kabul, and communicate unreservedly with him upon 
the questions at issue between the two States. 

I, personally, was not at all satisfied that the time had 
come for negotiation, for I felt that the Afghans had not 
had the sense of defeat sufficiently driven into them to 
convince them of our strength and ability to punish 
breach of treaty, and, therefore, that a peace made now, 
before they had been thoroughly beaten, would not be a 
lasting one, and would only end in worse trouble in the 
near future. The Afghans are an essentially arrogant and 
conceited people ; they had not forgotten our disastrous 
retreat from Kabul, nor the annihilation of our army in the 
Khurd Kabul and Jagdalak Passes in 1841, and believed 
themselves to be quite capable of resisting our advance on 
Kabul. No great battle had as yet been fought ; though Ali 


Masjid and the Peiwar Kotal had been taken, a small force 
of the enemy had been beaten by Charles Gough's brigade, 
near Jalalabad, and a successful Cavalry skirmish had 
occurred near Kandahar, the Afghans had nowhere suffered 
serious loss, and it was not to be wondered at if the 
fighting men in distant villages, and in and around Kabul, 
Ghazni, Herat, Balkh, and other places, still considered 
themselves undefeated and capable of defying us. They 
and their leaders had to depend for information as to recent 
events upon the garbled accounts of those who had fought 
against us, and it was unlikely they would be shaken in 
their belief in their superiority by such one-sided versions of 
what had occurred. On many occasions I had been amused, 
in listening to Afghan conversation, to find that, while they 
appeared thoroughly conversant with and frequently alluded 
to their triumphs over us, they seemed to know nothing, or 
had no recollection, of Sale's successful defence of Jalalabad, 
or of Pollock's victorious march through the Khyber Pass 
and the destruction by him of the chief bazaar in Kabul. 

My ideas about the negotiations being premature were 
freely expressed to Colonel Colley,* Lord Lytton's Private 
Secretary, who paid me a visit in Kuram at this time, and 
had been a constant correspondent of mine from the 
commencement of the war. Colley, however, explained to 
me that, right or wrong, the Viceroy had no option in the 
matter ; that there was the strongest feeling in England 
against the continuance of the war ; and that, unless the 
new Amir proved actively hostile, peace must be signed. 
He expressed himself sanguine that the terms of the 
treaty which Cavagnari hoped to conclude with Yakub 
* The late Major-General Sir George Colley, K.C.B. 


Khan would give us an improved frontier, and a permanent 
paramount influence at Kabul, the two points about which 
he said the Viceroy was most anxious, and to which he 
assigned the first place in his political programme. Lord 
Lytton foresaw that, whatever might be the future policy 
of the two European Powers concerned, the contact of the 
frontiers of Great Britain and Kussia in Asia was only a 
matter of time, and his aim was to make sure that the 
conterminous line, whenever it might be reached, should 
be of our choosing, and not one depending on the exigen- 
cies of the moment, or on the demands of Eussia. 

The Native agent (Bukhtiar Khan), who was the bearer of 
the Viceroy's and Cavagnari's letters to the Amir, reached 
Kabul at the moment when the Afghan officials who had 
accompanied Sher Ali in his flight returned to that place 
from Turkestan. Counsel was held with these men as to 
the manner of receiving the British Mission ; but there was 
an influential military party averse to peace, and the Amir 
was strongly advised to abandon the English alliance and 
trust to Bussia. Upon hearing this, our agent became 
alarmed for the safety of the Mission, and being appre- 
hensive that Yakub Khan would not have the power to 
protect its members from insult, he suggested to the Amir 
that he should visit our camp instead of the British Mission 
coming to Kabul, a suggestion which was ultimately adopted, 
the Viceroy considering that it was infinitely the best arrange- 
ment that could be made. 

On the 8th May the Amir arrived in Sir Samuel 
Browne's camp at Gandamak, thirty miles on the Kabul 
side of Jalalabad, and on the 26th, owing to the tact 
and diplomatic skill of Louis Cavagnari the Treaty of 


Gandamak was signed, and so ended the first phase of 
the second Afghan war. 

Under the terms of the treaty, Yakub Khan agreed to 
the cession of territory considered necessary by us, and 
bound himself to conduct his foreign policy in accordance 
with the advice of the British Government ; while, on 
our side, we promised to support him against external 
aggression. It was further arranged that a British repre- 
sentative, with a suitable escort, should reside at Kabul ;* 
that the Amir should in like manner (if he desired it) 
depute an agent to the Viceregal Court ; that British 
agents with sufficient escorts should be at liberty to visit 
the Afghan frontiers whenever, in the interests of both 
countries, it was considered necessary by the British 
Government ; that there should be no hindrance to British 
subjects trading peaceably within the Amir's dominions; 
that traders should be protected, the transit of merchandise 
facilitated, and roads kept in good order ; that a line of 
telegraph should be constructed from India to Kabul, at the 
expense of the British, but under the protection of the 
Afghan Government ; and that an annual subsidy of six 
lakhs of rupees should be paid to the Amir and his 

The Khyber column was now withdrawn, with the 
exception of two brigades, and orders were sent to the 
Kandahar column to prepare to withdraw on the 1st 
September, the earliest date at which the troops could 
safely march through the Bolan Pass. I was told to stay 
where I was, as Kuram, by the treaty conditions, was to 

* Kabul was expressly selected by Yakub Khan as the place where 
he wished the Embassy to reside. 


remain under our control and be administered by the British 

On the 24th May I held a parade in honour of the Queen's 
birthday, at which 6,450 officers and men were present.* 
They were thoroughly fit and workmanlike, and being 
anxious that the tribesmen should see what grand soldiers 
I had at hand should an advance be necessary, I invited 
all the neighbouring clans to witness the display. The 
Afghans were seated in picturesque groups round the flag- 
staff, when suddenly, as the first round of the feu-de-joie was 
fired, they started to their feet, thinking that treachery was 
intended, and that they were caught in a trap: they took 
to their heels, and we had considerable difficulty in bring- 
ing them back, and in making them understand that the 
firing which had so upset their equanimity was only a sign 
of rejoicing on that auspicious anniversary. By degrees 
they became assured that there was no thought of taking 
an unfair advantage of them, and at the conclusion of 
the ceremony they were made happy by a present of sheep. 
In the afternoon an impromptu rifle meeting was got up. 
The matchlock men could not hold their own against our 
good shots armed with Martini-Henry rifles, a fact which 
evidently greatly impressed the tribesmen, some of whom 
then and there came forward and promised that if I should 

* At this parade I had the great pleasure of decorating Captain 
Cook with the Victoria Cross, and Subadar Eagobir Nagarkoti, Jemadar 
Pursoo Khatri, Native Doctor Sankar Dass, and five riflemen of the 
5th Gurkhas, with the Order of Merit, for their gallant conduct on 
the attack on the Spingawi Kotal, and during the passage of the 
Mangior defile. It was a happy circumstance that Major Galbraith, 
who owed his life to Captain Cook's intrepidity, and Major Fitz-Hugh, 
whose life was saved by Jemadar (then Havildar) Pursoo Khatri, should 
both have been present on the parade. 


be required to advance on Kabul they would not oppose 

I took advantage of our improved relations with the 
Afghans, consequent on the ratification of the treaty, to 
enlarge our geographical knowledge of the passes which 
lead from Kuram towards Kabul, and the independent 
territories in the neighbourhood. The presence of the 
troops, no doubt, had something to say to the cheerful 
acquiescence of the tribesmen in these explorations, which 
they appeared to look upon as the result of a wish to 
make ourselves acquainted with the country assigned to 
us by the treaty, and having, to use their own expres- 
sion, lifted for us the purdah (curtain) of their country, 
they became most friendly, and took a curious pleasure 
in pointing out to us the points of defence at which 
they would have opposed us, had we been advancing 
as enemies. 

Towards the end of June I heard from Lord Lytton 
that he wished me to be one of the military members 
of a Commission of Inquiry into army expenditure and 
organization which was about to be convened at Simla, 
if I thought I could be spared from my post at Kuram. 
The people of the valley had by this time settled down 
so contentedly, and the tribesmen showed themselves so 
peacefully disposed, that I thought I could safely leave 
my post for a time, before returning to take up my 
abode in the neighbourhood for some years, as I hoped 
to do, when my appointment as Frontier Commissioner 
should have received the sanction of the authorities in 

Meanwhile, however, some temporary arrangement was 


necessary for the administration of Kuram, and I wrote to 
the Foreign Secretary (Alfred Lyall), pointing out my views 
upon the subject. 

Seeing how much could be done with these wild people by 
personal influence, and how ready they were to submit to 
my decisions when disputes arose amongst them — decisions 
at times literally given from the saddle — I was very adverse 
to their being handed over to some official who, from his 
training, would not be able to understand dealing out 
the rough-and-ready justice which alone was suited to these 
lawless beings, and who could not imagine any question 
being properly settled without its having undergone the 
tedious process of passing through the law courts. Such a 
rule would, I knew, disgust a people accustomed to decide 
their quarrels at the point of the sword — a people to whom 
law and order had been hitherto unknown, and must be dis- 
tasteful, until they had had time to realize their beneficial 
effects. Profitable employment and judicious management 
would in time, no doubt, turn them into peaceful subjects. 
Friendly intercourse had already done much towards this 
end, and tribes who for generations had been at feud 
with each other now met, when visiting our camp, on 
common ground, without (much I think to their own 
astonishment) wanting to cut each other's throats. What 
was further required, I conceived, was the opening up of 
the country by means of roads, which would facilitate 
intercommunication and give remunerative employment to 
thousands who had hitherto lived by plunder and blood- 

In answering my letter, the Foreign Secretary informed 
me that the future of Kuram would be settled when I 




reached Simla, whither I was to proceed so soon as I had 
seen the British Mission across the frontier. 

On the 15th July Major Cavagnari, who had been 
selected as 'the Envoy and Plenipotentiary to His Highness 
the Amir of Kabul,' arrived in Kuram, accompanied by Mr. 
William Jenkins, C.I.E., of the Civil Service, and Lieutenant 
Hamilton, V.C., Surgeon-Major Kelly, 25 Cavalry and 50 
Infantry of the Guides Corps. I, with some fifty officers 
who were anxious to do honour to the Envoy and see the 
country beyond Kuram, marched with Cavagnari to within 
five miles of the crest of the Shutargardan Pass, where 
we encamped, and my staff and I dined that evening with 
the Mission. After dinner I was asked to propose the 
health of Cavagnari and those with him, but somehow I 
did not feel equal to the task ; I was so thoroughly 
depressed, and my mind was filled with such gloomy 
forebodings as to the fate of these fine fellows, that I 
could not utter a word. Like many others, I thought 
that peace had been signed too quickly, before, in fact, we 
had instilled that awe of us into the Afghan nation which 
would have been the only reliable guarantee for the safety 
of the Mission. Had we shown our strength by marching 
to Kabul in the first instance, whether opposed or not, and 
there dictated the terms of the treaty, there would have 
been some assurance for its being adhered to ; as it was, I 
could not help feeling there was none, and that the chances 
were against the Mission ever coming back. 

Cavagnari, however, showed no sign of sharing my fore- 
bodings ; he and his companions were in the best of spirits ; 
he spoke most hopefully of the future, and talked of a tour 
he hoped to make with me in the cold weather along the 

vol. 11. 44 


northern and western frontiers of Afghanistan. Other 
matters of intense interest to us both were discussed, and 
before separating for the night it was arranged that Mrs. 
Cavagnari should either join him in Kabul the following 
spring, or come and stay with my wife and me in Kuram, 
where I had already laid the foundations of a house 
near the beautifully situated village of Shalufzan. 

Early next morning the Sirdar, who had been deputed 
by the Amir to receive the Mission, came into camp, and 
soon we all started for the top of the pass. We had gone 
about a mile, when we were joined by an escort of Afghan 
Cavalry, dressed something like British Dragoons, with the 
exception of their head-gear, which consisted of the dis- 
carded helmets of the old Bengal Horse Artillery. They 
were mounted on small, useful-looking horses, and were 
armed with smooth-bore carbines and tulwars (Native 

As we ascended, curiously enough, we came across a 
solitary magpie, which I should not have noticed had not 
Cavagnari pointed it out and begged me not to mention 
the fact of his having seen it to his wife, as she would 
be sure to consider it an unlucky omen. 

On reaching the Afghan camp, we were received in a 
large, tastefully decorated tent, where tea was served, and 
we were afterwards conducted to the top of the mountain, 
where carpets were spread and more tea passed round, 
while we gazed on the fine view of the Logar valley which 
stretched out beneath us. 

On descending to the camp, we were invited to partake of 
dinner, served in Oriental fashion on a carpet spread on the 
ground. Everything was done most lavishly and grace- 


fully, and nothing was omitted that was calculated to do 
us honour. Nevertheless, I could not feel happy as to the 
prospects of the Mission, and my heart sank as I wished 
Cavagnari good-bye. When we had proceeded a few 
yards in our different directions, we both turned round, 
retraced our steps, shook hands once more, and parted for 

I did not delay at Kuram ; there was nothing to keep me 
there, and the prospect of getting back to my belongings 
and to civilization, now that all active work was at an end, 
was too alluring to be withstood. My wife met me at the 
foot of the Hills, and we drove up to Simla together. I 
was greeted by Lord Lytton and many kind friends most 
warmly, and had the gratification of hearing that I had 
been made a K.C.B., and that I had been accorded the 
thanks of both Houses of Parliament. 

I was soon deep in the work of the Army Commission, 
which met for the first time under the presidency of the 
Hon. Sir Ashley Eden,* K.C.S.I., on the 1st August. The 
heavy loss to the revenues of India, consequent on the 
unfavourable rate of exchange, rendered extensive reduc- 
tions in public expenditure imperative, and the object of 
this Commission was to find out how the cost of the army 
could be reduced without impairing its efficiency. 

Very little was done at the first meeting, and at its close 
Eden confessed to me that he did not at all see his way, 
and that he was somewhat aghast at the difficulties of the 
task before the Commission. To me it seemed clear that 
the maintenance of a separate army for each presidency, 
Bengal, Bombay, and Madras, was at the root of the evils 

* Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. 


it was our duty to consider and try to reform ; and I 
promised the President that, before the Commission again 
assembled, I would prepare a scheme which might form a 
basis for them to work upon. 

I considered it an anachronism, since railways and 
telegraphs had annihilated distance, to keep up three 
Commanders-in-Chief, and separate departments, each 
having an independent head, in the three different presi- 
dencies. I put my ideas on paper, and Eden announced 
himself in favour of my scheme, which substituted for the 
three presidential armies four army corps, all subordinate 
to the Commander-in-Chief in India. Portions of my 
recommendation began to be carried into effect directly 
they had received the sanction of the authorities in 
England — such as the amalgamation of the Commissariat, 
Pay, Ordnance, and Stud departments — but it was not 
until April, 1895, sixteen years after the proposal had been 
recommended by the Government of India, and although, 
during that period, four successive Viceroys, each backed up 
by a unanimous Council, had declared themselves strongly 
in favour of the change, that the finishing touch was 
given to the new organization, by the abolition of the 
offices of Commanders-in-Chief of Madras and Bombay, and 
the creation of four Army Corps, namely, the Punjab, the 
Bengal, the Madras, and the Bombay, each commanded 
by a Lieutenant-General. 

[ i8i ] 


My wife and I thought and talked much over our new 
life on the frontier, to which we both looked forward with 
great interest and pleasure, but, before entering upon 
it, we settled to go home for a time to place our boy at 
school and see our friends, and we were arranging our 
plans accordingly, when suddenly our ' castles in the air r 
were dashed to the ground by a ruthless blow from the hand 
of Fate, and the whole of India, the whole of the civilized 
world, was struck with grief, horror, and indignation at 
the awful news of the massacre at Kabul of Cavagnari and 
his gallant companions. 

Throughout the month of August telegrams and letters 
constantly came from Cavagnari (now a Lieutenant-Colonel 
and a K.C.B.) to the Viceroy, the Foreign Secretary, and 
myself, in which he always expressed himself in such a 
manner as to lead to the belief that he was perfectly 
content with his position, and felt himself quite secure ; 
and in his very last letter, dated the 30th August, re- 
ceived after his death, he wrote : ' I personally believe 
that Yakub Khan will turn out to be a very good ally, 
and that we shall be able to keep him to his en- 
gagements.' His last telegram to the Viceroy, dated 


the 2nd September, concluded with the words, ' All well.' 
Cavagnari mentioned in one of his letters that the 
Afghan soldiers were inclined to be mutinous, and in 
another that a dispute had arisen in the bazaar between 
them and the men of the British escort, but at the same 
time he expressed his confidence in the Amir's ability and 
determination to maintain order; I could not, however, 
help being anxious about Cavagnari, or divest myself of 
the feeling that he might be over-estimating Yakub 
Khan's power, even if His Highness had the will, to 
protect the Mission. 

Between one and two o'clock on the morning of the 5th 
September, I was awakened by my wife telling me that 
a telegraph man had been wandering round the house and 
calling for some time, but that no one had answered him.* 
I got up, went downstairs, and, taking the telegram from 
the man, brought it up to my dressing-room, and opened 
it ; it proved to be from Captain Conolly, Political Officer at 
Alikhel, dated the 4th September. The contents told me 
that my worst fears — fears I had hardly acknowledged to 
myself — had been only too fully realized. The telegram 

• One Jelaladin Ghilzai, who says he is in Sir Louis Cavagnari's 
secret service, has arrived in hot haste from Kabul, and solemnly 
states that yesterday morning the Eesidency was attacked by three 
regiments who had mutinied for their pay, they having guns, and 
being joined by a portion of six other regiments. The Embassy and 
escort were defending themselves when he left about noon yesterday. 
I hope to receive further news.' 

I was paralyzed for the moment, but was roused by my 
wife calling out, 'What is it? Is it bad news from Kabul?' 

* There are no such things as bells or knockers in India. 


She had divined my fears about Cavagnari, and had been 
as anxious about him as I had been myself. I replied, 
'Yes, very bad, if true. I hope it is not.' But I felt it 
was. I woke my A.D.C., and sent him off at once to 
the Viceroy with the telegram. The evil tidings spread 
rapidly. I was no sooner dressed than Mr. Alfred Lyall 
arrived. We talked matters over, I despatched a tele- 
gram* to Captain Conolly, and we then went off to Lord 

Early as it was, I found the Council assembled. The 
gravity of the situation was thoroughly appreciated, and 
it was unanimously decided that, should the disastrous 
report prove to be true, troops must proceed to Kabul with 
the least possible delay to avenge or, if happily incorrect 
or exaggerated, to support the Mission. 

Sir Samuel Browne's force had been broken up, Sir 
Donald *Stewart was in far-off Kandahar, and his troops 
had, all but a small number, left on their return march to 
India ; the Kuram force was, therefore, the only one in a 
position to reach Kabul quickly, and I was ordered to 
proceed at once to Kuram and resume my command. 

As a preliminary measure, Brigadier-General Massy, 
who had been placed in temporary command during my 
absence, was directed to move troops to the Shutargardan, 
where they were to entrench themselves and await orders, 

* ' Lose no time and spare no money to obtain reliable information 
of what is going on in Kabul, and keep me constantly informed by 
urgent telegrams. I am in hopes that Jelaladin's report will turn out 
to be greatly exaggerated, if not untrue. As, however, his intelligence 
is sure to spread and cause a certain amount of excitement, warn 
General Massy and Mr. Christie (the Political Officer in Kuram) to be 
on the alert.' 


while Stewart was directed to stop all regiments on their 
way back to India, and himself hold fast at Kandahar. 

During the day further telegrams were received confirm- 
ing the truth of the first report, and telling of the Mission 
having been overwhelmed and every member of it cruelly 
massacred ; and later Captain Conolly telegraphed that 
messengers had arrived from the Amir bringing two letters 
addressed to me giving his version of what had occurred. 

During the few hours I remained at Simla I was busily 
engaged in discussing with Sir Frederick Haines the 
formation of the Kabul Field Force,* as my new command 
was designated, and the many important matters which 

* The Kabul Field Force was composed as follows : 

Lieutenant -Colonel B. L. Gordon, commanding. 
Captain J. W. Inge, Adjutant. 

F/A, Royal Horse Artillery, Major J. C. Smyth-Windham. 
G/3, Royal Artillery, Major Sydney Parry. 
No. 1 (Kohat) Mountain Battery (four guns), Captain Morgan. 
No. 2 (Derajat) Mountain Battery (four guns), Captain Swinley. 
Two Gatling guns, Captain Broadfoot. 

Lieutenant- Colonel M. Perkins, C.B., commanding. 
Lieutenant F. Spratt, Adjutant. 
Captain Woodthorpe, R.E., in charge of surveying. 
Captain Stratton, 22nd Regiment, in charge of signalling. 
Lieutenant F. Burn-Murdoch, R.E., Royal Engineer Park. 

Brigadier-General W. D. Massy, commanding. 
Lieutenant J. P. Brabazon, 10th Hussars, Brigade -Major. 
9th Lancers, Lieutenant-Colonel R. S. Cleland. 
5th Punjab Cavalry, Major B. Williams. 
12th Bengal Cavalry, Major Green. 
14th Bengal Lancers, Lieutenant-Colonel Ross. 


had to be considered. More troops had to be hurried up, 
for it would be necessary to hold Kuram in strength while 
I moved on to Kabul, and, as communication by the 
Shutargardan could not be depended upon after December, 
on account of snow, the Khyber route would have to be 
opened out. 

At the commencement of the last year's campaign my 
anxiety had been so largely increased by having been 
given officers totally inexperienced in war to fill the higher 
posts in the Kuram column, that I did not hesitate to press 
upon the Commander-in-Chief, now that I had a far more 
difficult operation to carry through, the importance of my 
senior officers being tried men on whom I could implicitly 
rely ; and I succeeded in getting for the command of my 
two Infantry brigades Herbert Macpherson* and T. D. 
Baker, f the Viceroy's Military Secretary, both of whom had 

1st Infantry Brigade. 
Brigadier- General H. Macpherson, C.B., V.C., commanding 
Captain G. de C. Morton, 6th Foot, Brigade -Major. 
67th Foot, Lieutenant-Colonel C. B. Knowles. 
92nd Highlanders, Lieutenant-Colonel G. H. Parker. 
28th Punjab Infantry, Lieutenant- Colonel J. Hudson. 

2nd Infantry Brigade. 
Brigadier- General T. D. Baker, C.B., 18th Foot, commanding. 
Captain W. C. Farwell, 26th Punjab Infantry, Brigade-Major. 
72nd Highlanders, Lieutenant -Colonel Brownlow. 
5th Gurkhas, Lieutenant-Colonel Fitz-Hugh. 
5th Punjab Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel J. Macqueen. 
3rd Sikhs, Lieutenant-Colonel G. N. Money. 
23rd Pioneers, Lieutenant-Colonel Currie. 

* The late Lieutenant- General Sir Herbert Macpherson, V.C., K.C.B., 
who died as Commander-in-Chief of Madras. 

t The late Sir Thomas Baker, K.C.B., who died as Quartermaster- 
General at the Horse Guards. 


seen a good deal of service, while the former had already 
commanded a brigade in the field. 

To the command of the Artillery and Cavalry, Lieutenant- 
Colonel B. Gordon and Brigadier-General Massy were ap- 
pointed, neither of whom had much experience of war. 
Gordon had served in Central India during the Mutiny, 
and Massy by his pluck as a subaltern of Infantry in the 
Crimea had gained for himself the sobriquet of 'Bedan' 
Massy. But he had not served with Cavalry in the field, 
and from my slight acquaintance with him I could not say 
whether he possessed the very exceptional qualities required 
in a Cavalry Commander. 

My staff had proved themselves so capable and reliable 
that I had no wish to make any change ; it was, however, 
materially strengthened by the addition of Colonel 
Macgregor,* as 'Chief of the Staff,' with Captain Combe, t 
10th Hussars, and Lieutenant Manners Smith! as Deputy- 
Assistant Quartermaster-Generals. 

Mr. H. M. Durand§ was attached to me as Political 
Secretary, and Major Hastings as Political Officer, in place 
of Colonel Waterfield, who was hors de combat from a broken 
leg. Hugh Gough, with the rank of Brigadier-General, 
and Major Mark Heathcote as his assistant, were placed in 
charge of the lines of communication. 

Before leaving Simla I paid a farewell visit to Lord 
Lytton. I found him in a state of deep distress and 

* The late Sir Charles MacGregor, K.C.B. 

-f- Now Major- General Combe, C.B. 

% This promising young officer greatly distinguished himself at 
Kabul, and died a few years afterwards of cholera. 

§ Now Sir Mortimer Durand, K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E., British Minister 
at Teheran. 


depression. To a man of his affectionate disposition, the 
fate of Cavagnari, for whom he had a great personal regard, 
was a real grief. But on public grounds he felt still more 
strongly the collapse of the Mission and the consequent 
heavy blow to the policy he had so much at heart, viz., 
the rectification of our defective frontier, and the render- 
ing India secure against foreign aggression — a policy 
which, though scouted at the time by a party which later 
became all-powerful, has since been justified by the action 
of successive Governments, Liberal and Conservative alike, 
until at the present moment our frontier is gradually 
becoming what Lord Lytton, with his clear foresightedness 
and intelligent appreciation of our responsibilities and 
India's requirements, would then have made it. 

In answer to my request for instructions as to the line I 
should take about our future relations with the Afghans, 
Lord Lytton said : ' You can tell them we shall never again 
altogether withdraw from Afghanistan, and that those who 
help you will be befriended and protected by the British 

While I was with Lord Lytton, a telegram* was brought 

* Telegram dated 6th September, 1879. 

From To 

Captain Conolly, Foreign Secretary, 

Alikhel. Simla. 

' Clear the Line. — Sirkai Khan, bearer of the Amir's first letter, 
confirms previous reports of disaster, and describes how Badshah 
Khan visited the spot, and saw the dead bodies of the Envoy, staff, 
and escort. Of the latter, some nine sowars are said to have been out 
getting grass that day, and were not killed with the rest ; defence was 
very stubborn, and loss of the Kabulis heavy, put down at one hundred, 
or more. Finding they could not storm the place, the mutineers set 
fire to the doorway below, and, when that gave way, swarmed in 


in from Captain Conolly, reporting the details of the attack 
upon the Embassy, as given to him by the messenger who 
had been entrusted by the Amir to deliver the two letters 
addressed to me. In this telegram Conolly solicited in- 
structions as to what he was to communicate to the Amir 
in reply to His Highness' s request for aid, and inquired 
whether he was at liberty to make terms with one 
Badshah Khan, an influential Ghilzai Chief, who had come 
to Alikhel to offer his services. 

The following telegram was sent in reply by the Foreign 
Secretary : 

' Your telegram 6th. Reply to the Amir at once from the Viceroy that 
a strong British force under General Roberts will march speedily on 
Kabul to his relief, from the Shutargardan, and that he should use all 
his resources to co-operate with, and facilitate, the advance of the 
troops through his country. Your proposal to subsidize Badshah 
Khan and accept his services is approved. Roberts will send detailed 

Late in the afternoon of the same day (September 6th) I 
left Simla, accompanied by my wife as far as Umballa, where 

and up to the upper story, overwhelmed the defenders, and sacked the 

' The second letter was brought by another messenger, servant of the 
Embassy Mehmandar, whose story in all but a few unimportant details 
is the same as that first received. 

' If an advance on Kabul is decided on to revenge massacre of 
Embassy, and also to quiet surrounding tribes, whom any (?) action 
would tempt to break out, it appears to me all-important to secure safe 
passage of the Shutargardan, and with this object to subsidize Badshah 
Khan handsomely. 

' I have detained the Kabul messengers pending receipt of instructions 
as to the line of policy to follow, and what to communicate to the Amir 
or Badshah Khan. The former invokes our aid ; the latter expresses 
himself, through his messenger, anxious to serve us. Once in Logar 
valley, where they have had a bumper harvest, we could live on the 

1879] START FOR KABUL l8g 

I found my staff waiting for me. She saw us off in the 
train, bidding us a cheery good-bye and good luck, but lam 
afraid the return journey must have been a sad one for her. 

Thought for the immediate future filled my mind as we 
sped on our way to the front, and not a few difficulties 
connected with the proposed advance on Kabul presented 
themselves to me. My chief causes for anxiety were the 
insufficiency of transport, and the great extent of the lines 
of communication which would have to be guarded. It 
would be necessary to hold the country in strength from 
Thai to the Shutargardan, a distance of 115 miles, until 
such time as the Khyber route could be opened, and I 
felt that the force at my disposal (7,500 men and 22 guns) 
was none too large for the work before it, considering that 
I should have to provide a garrison for the Shutargardan, 
if not for other posts between that place and Kabul. 

My Commissariat arrangements, too, caused me many 
misgivings, increased by the fact that Major Badcock, my 
chief Commissariat Officer, and Major Collett, my Assistant 
Quartermaster-General, who had afforded such valuable aid 
in Kuram, thinking the war was at an end, had taken leave 
to England. My doubts vanished, however, and my spirits 
rose at the sight of my brave troops, and the enthusiastic 
welcome they gave me as I rode through Kuram on the 
12th September on my way to Alikhel. A splendid spirit 
pervaded the whole force; the men's hearts were on fire 
with eager desire to press on to Kabul, and be led against 
the miscreants who had foully massacred our countrymen, 
and I felt assured that whatever it was possible for daunt- 
less courage, unselfish devotion, and firm determination 
to achieve, would be achieved by my gallant soldiers. 


On reaching Alikhel, Captain Conolly handed to me the 
Amir's letters,* to which I replied at once, and the next 
day, under instructions from the Government of India, 
I wrote to His Highness that, in conformity with his own 

* Translation of a Letter from the Amir of Kabul to General 
eoberts, dated kabul, 8 a.m., the 3rd september, 1879. 
(After compliments.) The troops who had assembled for pay at the 
Bala Hissar suddenly broke out and stoned their officers, and then all 
rushed to the Kesidency and stoned it, receiving in return a hail of 
bullets. Confusion and disturbance reached such a height that it was 
impossible to quiet it. People from Sherpur and country around the 
Bala Hissar, and city people of all classes, poured into the Bala Hissar 
and began destroying workshops, Artillery park, and magazine ; and 
all the troops and people attacked the Eesidency. Meanwhile, I sent 
Daud Shah 1 to help the Envoy. On reaching the Kesidency, he was 
unhorsed by stones and spears, and is now dying. I then sent Sirdar 
Yahia Khan and my own son, the heir-apparent, with the Koran to the 
troops ; but no use. I then sent well-known Syads and Mullahs of 
each class, but of no avail ; up till now, evening, the disturbance con- 
tinues. It will be seen how it ends. I am grieved with this confusing 
state of things. It is almost beyond conception. (Here follow the 
date and the Amir's seal.) 

Second Letter from the Amir, dated Kabul, the 4th 

September, 1879. 
Yesterday, from 8 a.m. till evening, thousands assembled to destroy 
the Embassy. There has been much loss of life on both sides. At 
evening they set fire to the Eesidency. All yesterday and up till now, 
I with five attendants have been besieged. I have no certain news of 
the Envoy, whether he and his people have been killed in their 
quarters, or been seized and brought out. Afghanistan is ruined ; the 
troops, city, and surrounding country have thrown off their yoke of 
allegiance. Daud Shah is not expected to recover ; all his attendants 
were killed. The workshops and magazine are totally gutted — in fact, 
my kingdom is ruined. After God, I look to the Government for aid 
and advice. My true friendship and honesty of purpose will be proved 
as clear as daylight. By this misfortune I have lost my friend, the 
Envoy, and also my kingdom. I am terribly grieved and perplexed. 
(Here follow the date and the Amir's seal.) 

1 The Commander-in-Chief of the Afghan army. 

1879] LETTER TO THE AMIR 19 1 

special request that an English officer should be deputed as 
Envoy to his court, and on condition that he would himself 
be responsible for the protection and honourable treatment 
of such an Envoy, Major Cavagnariand three British officers 
had been allowed to go to Kabul, all of whom within six 
weeks had been ruthlessly murdered by his troops and 
subjects ; that his inability to carry out the treaty engage 
ments, and his powerlessness to establish his authority, 
even in his own capital, having thus become apparent, 
an English army would now advance on Kabul with the 
double object of consolidating his Government, should he 
himself loyally do his best to fulfil the terms of the treaty, 
and of exacting retribution from the murderers of the British 
Mission. But that, although His Highness laid great stress 
in his letter of the 4th September on the sincerity of his 
friendship, my Government had been informed that emis- 
saries had been despatched from Kabul to rouse the 
country people and tribes against us, and as this action 
appeared inconsistent with friendly intentions, I considered 
it necessary for His Highness to send a confidential re- 
presentative to confer with me and explain his object. 

I had little doubt as to the truth of the report that the 
Amir was using every effort to incite the Ghilzais and 
other tribes to oppose us, and I was confirmed in my 
conviction by a Native gentleman, Nawab Ghulam Hussein 
Khan,* at one time our agent at Kabul, who told me that, 
although he did not believe that Yakub Khan had actually 
planned the massacre of the Embassy, he had certainly 
taken no steps to prevent it, and that he, Ghulam Hussein 

* The Nawab was on his way from Kandahar to Kabul, but on 
hearing of the massacre he came to Alikhel. 


Khan, was convinced that the Amir was now playing us 
false. It was, therefore, a relief to find awaiting me at 
Alikhel several of the leading men from the neighbouring 
districts, to whom I had telegraphed, before leaving Simla, 
asking them to meet me. 

These men were profuse in their proffers of assistance, 
and, although I did not place a great deal of faith in 
their promises, I came to the conclusion that, notwith- 
standing Yakub Khan's treacherous efforts to stir up the 
tribes, if I could only push on rapidly with a fairly 
strong force, I need not anticipate any opposition that I 
could not overcome. Everything depended on speed, but 
rapidity of movement depended on the condition of the 
transport service, and my inspection of the animals, as I 
passed through Kuram, was not calculated to raise hopes 
of being able to make a very quick advance ; for, owing to 
continuous hard work and the want of a staff of trained 
transport attendants, the numbers of animals had steadily 
diminished, and those that remained were for the most part 
sickly and out of condition. 

On the 16th of September I issued a Proclamation,* 

* Translation of a Proclamation issued by Major-General 
Sir Frederick Eoberts. 

Alikhel, 16th September, 1879. 

Be it known to all the Chiefs and the people of the country of Kabul 
and its dependencies that, in accordance with the Treaty concluded in 
May, 1879, corresponding to Jamdi-ul-Akhir 1296 Hijri, between the 
two great Governments, and to the terms of which His Highness the 
Amir expressed his assent, and agreed to the location of an Envoy of 
Her Imperial Majesty the Empress, a British Envoy was, at the special 
request of His Highness the Amir, located at the Kabul Court, and the 
Amir guaranteed that he should be treated honourably and protected. 

Within six weeks after the said Envoy was received at and entered 
Kabul the whole Embassy was besieged and massacred in the very 


copies of which I caused to be sent to the people of Kabul, 
Ghazni, and all the neighbouring tribes ; this, I hoped, 
would facilitate our advance, and reassure those who had 
taken no part in the attack on the Eesidency. I also 
wrote a letter* to the maliks of the Logar valley, whose 
territory we must enter directly we had crossed the 

citadel of His Highness the Amir, who could not save or protect them 
from the hands of the soldiers and the people. From this, the lack of 
power of the Amir and the weakness of his authority in his capital 
itself are quite apparent and manifest. For this reason the British 
troops are advancing for the purpose of taking a public vengeance 
on behalf of the deceased as well as of obtaining satisfaction {lit., con- 
solidation) of the terms entered into in the Treaty concluded. The 
British troops are entering Afghanistan for the purpose of strengthen- 
ing the royal authority of His Highness the Amir on condition that 
His Highness loyally uses those powers for the maintenance of friend- 
ship and of amicable relations with the British Government. This is 
the only course by which the Amir's kingdom can remain intact, and 
(by which) also the friendly sentiments and sincerity expressed in his 
letter of the 4th September, 1879, after the occurrence of the (said) 
event can be proved. 

For the purpose of removing any doubt about the concord of the two 
Governments, the Amir has been addressed to depute a confidential 
agent to my camp. The British force will not punish or injure anyone 
except the persons who have taken part or joined in the massacre of 
the Embassy unless they offer opposition. All the rest, the small and 
great, who are unconcerned (therein) may rest assured of this. Carriage 
and supplies of every description should be brought into the British 
camp. Full price and hire shall be paid for everything that may be 
taken. Whereas mercy and humanity are the characteristics of this 
great Government, this proclamation is issued beforehand for the in- 
formation of the people at large. 

* Translation of a Letter from Major-General Sir Frederick 
Boberts to certain malihs of the Logar Valley. 

F rom the Proclamation already issued by me, you will have learnt 
the reasons for the march of the British troops to Kabul. Her Majesty's 
Government, by the movement of troops, intends to exact retribution 
for the massacre of her Embassy and to aid His Highness the Amir in 
restoring order. 

vol. 11. 45 


Shutargardan, and whose co-operation I was most anxious 
to obtain. On the 18th I again wrote* to the Amir, 
enclosing copies of these two documents, and informing 
him that I was still awaiting a reply to my first letter 
and the arrival of His Highness' s confidential representa- 
tive ; that I hoped he would soon issue the necessary orders 
for the furtherance of our plans, and that he might rest 
assured of the support of the British Government. 

On the 19th September matters had so far progressed 
that I was able to tell the Viceroy that Brigadier-General 
Baker was entrenched with his brigade on the Shutar- 
gardan, and engaged in improving the road to Kushi, the 
first halting-place in the Logar valley ; that supplies were 
being collected by means of local transport ; that I was 
bringing up reserve ammunition and treasure from the 
rear on Artillery waggons ; and that every possible effort 
was being made to render the force mobile. 

On the 20th I received the Amir's reply. He expressed 
regret that he was unable to come to Alikhel himself, but 
intimated that he was sending two confidential agents, his 
Mustaufi (Finance Minister), Habibulla Khan, and his 

Let all those not concerned in the massacre rest assured, provided no 
opposition is shown. 

His Highness the Amir, in communications received by me, expresses 
his friendship, and wishes to continue amicable relations. As the 
British troops under my command will shortly enter the Logar valley, 
I write to reassure you, and expect that you will inform all the residents 
of the valley not concerned in the late hateful massacre the purport of 
the Proclamation, and give every assistance in providing carriage and 
supplies required for the troops, for which adequate hire and payment 
will be made. I hope that after the above assurance all the headmen 
will come to meet me in my camp, where I shall be glad to see them. 

* This letter is given in full in the Appendix. 


Wazir (Prime Minister), Shah Mahomed Khan, who accord- 
ingly arrived the next day. 

At each interview I had with these gentlemen during 
the three days they remained in my camp, they impressed 
upon me that the Amir was inclined to be most friendly, 
and that his only wish was to be guided by the advice 
of the British Government. But, notwithstanding these 
plausible assurances, I soon discovered that Yakub Khan's 
real object in sending these two high officials was to 
stop the advance of the force, and induce me to leave the 
punishment of the troops who had committed the massacre 
in the hands of the Afghan authorities, or else to delay us 
long enough to give time for the whole country to rise 
against us. 

As the conversations which were carried on at the 
meetings with the Afghan agents are interesting, and have 
an important bearing on the subsequent proceedings, I 
give in the Appendix the notes taken at the time by my 
Political Secretary. 

I was anxious to keep one of the Amir's representatives 
with me, but neither of them was willing to remain, so I 
felt bound to let them both depart, taking with them the 
following letter to the Amir : 

To His Highness the Amir of Kabul. 

Camp, Alikhel, 25t7i September, 1879. 

(After compliments.) I have received Your Highness's two letters of 
the 19th and 20th September (1st and 2nd Shawal), delivered to me 
by the hands of Your Highness's two confidential representatives, 
Mustaufi Habibulla Khan and Wazir Shah Mahomed. 

I am much obliged to Your Highness for sending me two such well- 
known men, and of such character as the Mustaufi and the Wazir. 
They have informed me of Your Highness's wishes, and I quite under- 
stand all they have told me. It is unfortunate that the season is so 


late, and that winter will soon be here ; but there is yet time for a 
British army to reach Kabul before the great cold sets in. 

The Viceroy of India is much concerned that there should have been 
any delay in promptly acceding to your Highness's request for advice 
and assistance, as conveyed in Your Highness's letters of the 3rd and 
4th instant. It was His Excellency's earnest wish that troops should 
march on Kabul at once, so as to ensure Your Highness's personal 
safety and aid Your Highness in restoring peace and order at your 

Unfortunately, the want of transport, and the necessity for collecting 
a certain amount of supplies, have caused a few weeks' delay ; it is, 
however, a source of gratification and happiness to the Viceroy to learn 
that Your Highness's safety is not at present endangered, and His 
Excellency trusts Your Highness will be able to keep everything quiet 
in your kingdom, until such time as British troops may reach Kabul. 

I am glad to be able to inform Your Highness that news reached me 
yesterday of the departure of a considerable force from Kandahar 
under the command of a brave and distinguished officer, and that a 
large body of troops, under command of General Bright, were ad- 
vancing rapidly from Peshawar to Jalalabad and onwards via Ganda- 
mak to Kabul. My own force will, I hope, be in a state to march 
before long. As Your Highness is aware, the Shutargardan has been 
occupied for some days. Meanwhile regiments of Cavalry and Infantry 
and batteries of Artillery have reached Kuram to replace those I am 
taking on with me, and to reinforce my own column should a necessity 
for more troops arise — a contingency I do not in the least expect. 

The Viceroy of India, in His Excellency's anxiety for Your High- 
ness's welfare and safety, issued orders that each of the three armies, 
now advancing from Kandahar, Kuram and the Khyber, should be 
strong enough to overcome any opposition Your Highness's enemies 
could possibly offer. That each is strong enough there can be no doubt. 

I understand that there is no one at Kelat-i-Ghilzai or Ghazni to 
stop the progress of the troops en route from Kandahar. There is no 
reason, therefore, why they should not reach Kabul in a very short time. 

The Khyber tribes, having understood and appreciated the Treaty of 
peace made by Your Highness with the British Government in May 
last, have unanimously agreed to assist the troops from Peshawar in 
every way, and are now eager to keep the road through the Khyber 
safe, and to place all their transport animals at the disposal of the 
British Commander, who will thus be enabled to concentrate his force 
rapidly at Kabul. Through the kindness of Your Highness I have ex- 
perienced much less difficulty than I could have expected, and I may 


now reasonably hope to be with Your Highness at least as soon as 
either the Kandahar or Khyber column. 

I look forward with great pleasure to the meeting with Your High- 
ness, and trust that you will continue your kind assistance to obtain 
for me supplies and transport. 

I have carefully considered Your Highness's proposal that you your- 
self should be permitted to administer just punishment to the mutinous 
troops and others who shared in the treacherous and cruel attack on 
the British Envoy and his small escort, and thus save Her Majesty's 
troops the trouble, hardship, and privation which must necessarily be 
encountered by an advance on Kabul at this season of the year. I 
thank Your Highness most cordially, on the part of the Viceroy and 
Government of India, for this further proof of Your Highness's friendly 
feelings. Under ordinary circumstances such an offer would be grate- 
fully and willingly accepted, but after what has recently occurred, I 
feel sure that the great British nation would not rest satisfied unless a 
British army marched to Kabul and there assisted Your Highness to 
inflict such punishments as so terrible and dastardly an act deserves. 

I have forwarded Your Highness's letters in original to the Viceroy ; 
a copy of this, my reply, will be submitted by to-day's post for His 
Excellency's consideration. Meanwhile I have permitted Mustaufi 
Habibulla Khan and Wazir Shah Mahomed to take their leave and 
rejoin Your Highness. 

I delayed my own departure from Alikhel until a 
sufficiency of supplies had been collected at Kushi, and 
everything was ready for as rapid an advance on Kabul as 
my limited transport would admit of ; for, so long as I 
remained behind, the people of Afghanistan could not be 
sure of my intentions, and no doubt hoped that the Amir's 
remonstrances would have the desired effect, and prevent 
our doing more than occupying the Shutargardan, or 
making a demonstration toward Kushi. My crossing the 
pass would, I knew, be the signal for all those determined 
on opposition to assemble ; it was politic, therefore, to 
remain behind until the last moment. 

When all arrangements were complete, so far as was 


possible with the means at my disposal, I issued the 
following Field Force Order : 

' The Government of India having decided that a force shall proceed 
with all possible despatch to Kabul, in response to His Highness the 
Amir's appeal for aid, and with the object of avenging the dastardly 
murder of the British representative and his escort, Sir Frederick 
Eoberts feels sure that the troops under his command will respond to 
the call with a determination to prove themselves worthy of the high 
reputation they have maintained during the recent campaign. 

' The Major-General need address no words of exhortation to soldiers 
whose courage and fortitude have been so well proved. The Afghan 
tribes are numerous, but without organization ; the regular army is un- 
disciplined, and whatever may be the disparity in numbers, such foes 
can never be formidable to British troops. The dictates of humanity 
require that a distinction should be made between the peaceable in- 
habitants of Afghanistan and the treacherous murderers for whom a 
just retribution is in store, and Sir Frederick Eoberts desires to impress 
upon all ranks the necessity for treating the unoffending population 
with justice, forbearance, and clemency. 

' The future comfort and well-being of the force depend largely on 
the friendliness of our relations with the districts from which supplies 
must be drawn ; prompt payment is enjoined for all articles purchased 
by departments and individuals, and all disputes must be at once 
referred to a political officer for decision. 

' The Major-General confidently looks forward to the successful 
accomplishment of the object of the expedition, and the establishment 
of order and a settled Government in Afghanistan.' 

[ 199 J 


On the 27th September I made over the Kuram command 
to Brigadier-General T. Gordon, and set out for Kushi, 
where Baker was now encamped. 

Just before I started I had the pleasure of welcoming 
my old friend and brother officer, Major - General J. 
Hills, V.C., C.B., who had been with Sir Donald Stewart 
as Assistant Adjutant-General from the beginning of the 
campaign, and who had, the moment he heard there was 
to be an advance on Kabul, come with all speed to place 
his services at my disposal. Although I had no employ- 
ment for Hills at the time, there would be plenty for all to 
do at Kabul, and I was delighted to have so good a soldier 
with me. 

My escort consisted of the Head-Quarters of the Cavalry 
brigade, one squadron 9th Lancers, 5th Punjab Cavalry, 
and detachments of the 5th and 28th Punjab Infantry. 
We had only gone about halfway through the pass when 
I pushed on with the Cavalry, in the hope of reaching 
the camp on the top before dark, and was very soon met 
by twenty-five men of the 92nd Highlanders, who brought 
me a note from Colonel Perkins, B.E., in command on 
the Shutargardan, warning me that we were sure to 


be attacked. We had not proceeded far, when at the 
narrowest part of the defile we found the passage blocked 
by some 2,000 Afghans, and as we approached a volley was 
fired from a party concealed by some rocks on our left. 
I was told afterwards that it was intended for me, but 
I remained unscathed, and the principal medical officer, Dr. 
Townsend, who was riding on my right, and to whom I was 
talking at the moment, was severely wounded. The High- 
landers, supported by some dismounted Cavalry, cleared 
away the enemy to the north, but as they clung to the 
precipitous hills on the south, we had to wait till the 
main body of the escort came up, when they were speedily 

Meanwhile, a sharp little engagement had taken place 
further up the gorge, and as we advanced we could see the 
enemy retiring before a detachment of the 92nd High- 
landers, under Colour- Sergeant Hector Macdonald, and of 
the 3rd Sikhs, under Jemadar Sher Mahomed, a Native of 
Kabul. The manner in which the Colour- Sergeant and the 
Native officer handled their men gave me a high opinion of 
them both.* 

On the top of the Shutargardan Pass that evening I 
received the Amir's reply! to my last letter, in which he 

* Macdonald, having subsequently further distinguished himself, 
was given a commission, and is now commanding a regiment in the 
Egyptian Army. Sher Mahomed was rewarded with the Order of 

f From the Amir of Kabul, dated Kushi, 27th September, 


(After compliments.) Your friendly letter has reached me just at this 
moment, 8 p.m., the 10th Shawal (27th September), and opened 


expressed his gratitude for the sympathy and support 
afforded him by the British Government, and informed me 
that he had given orders to the Governor of Jalalabad that 
the Khyber column should not meet with any opposition. 
I was also given a letter from Sirdar Wali Mahomed Khan, 
and several other Sirdars, professing loyalty to the British 
Government, and expressing pleasure at my approach. 
And at the same time the rather embarrassing information 
reached me that the Amir, desiring personal communication 
with me, had already arrived in General Baker's camp 
at Kushi, attended by his son Musa Khan, a lad about 
seven years old, his father-in-law, and the Commander-in- 
Chief of the Afghan army (Daud Shah), with a suite of 
45 members and an escort of 200 men. 

the doors of joy and happiness on the face of my heart marked with 
affection. I feel perfectly certain and confident that the movements 
of Her Imperial Majesty's victorious troops are merely for the pur- 
pose of consolidating the foundation of my kingdom and strengthening 
the basis of my government. 

In truth, the sympathy of friends with friends is fitting and proper, 
and the indulgence and kindness of a great Government to a sincere 
and faithful friend are agreeable and pleasing. I am exceedingly grati- 
fied with, and thankful to, the representatives of the illustrious British 
Government for their expression of sympathy and their support of my 
cause. Your friendly and wise suggestion that none of the ignorant 
tribes of Afghanistan should oppose the British troops, so that the 
officers of the British Government should be the better able to support 
and protect me, is very acceptable and reasonable. Before I received 
your letter, I had sent orders repeatedly to the Governors of Jalalabad 
and Lalpura not to let anyone oppose or resist the British troops, and 
stringent orders have again been issued to the Governor of Jalalabad 
to use his utmost endeavours and efforts in this respect. The order in 
question to the address of the Governor of Jalalabad will be shown you 
to-morrow, and sent by an express courier. 


Although I had met with but slight opposition hitherto, 
it was evident from the secret information I received that 
the Ghilzais were inclined to be hostile, and intended to 
oppose us, and as it was important to keep open com- 
munication with Alikhel through their country, I arranged 
for the Shutargardan to be held by a Mountain battery, 
the 3rd Sikhs, and the 21st Punjab Infantry, under 
the command of Lieutenant-Colonel G. N. Money, an 
officer on whose judgment and coolness I knew I could 

The next morning I rode to Kushi, where my first inter- 
view with the Amir of Afghanistan took place. 

I cannot say that I was favourably impressed by his 
appearance. He was an insignificant-looking man, about 
thirty-two years of age, with a receding forehead, a conical- 
shaped head, and no chin to speak of, and he gave me the 
idea of being entirely wanting in that force of character 
without which no one could hope to govern or hold in 
check the warlike and turbulent people of Afghanistan. 
He was possessed, moreover, of a very shifty eye, he could 
not look one straight in the face, and from the first I felt 
that his appearance tallied exactly with the double-dealing 
that had been imputed to him. His presence in my camp 
was a source of the gravest anxiety to me. He was 
constantly receiving and sending messages, and was no 
doubt giving his friends at Kabul all the information he 
could collect as to our resources and intentions. He 
had, however, come ostensibly as our ally, seeking refuge 
from his mutinous soldiers, and whatever suspicions I 
might secretly entertain, I could only treat him as an 

1879] YAKUB KHAN 203 

honoured guest, so long as there was nothing proved 
against him. 

My first visit to Yakub Khan was of a formal character. 
Nevertheless, he seized the opportunity to urge strongly 
upon me the advisability of delaying my advance, that he 
might have time, he said, to restore order amongst his 
troops, and to punish those who had participated in the 
attack on the Embassy. I replied that my orders were 
peremptory, and that it was my duty, as it was my de- 
terminatiQn, to press on to Kabul with all possible speed. 
Finding that his arguments had no effect, he changed his 
tactics, and declared that he was much alarmed for the 
safety of his family, whom he had left in the Bala Hissar ; 
that he had only one regiment on which he could de- 
pend ; that he feared when the others should hear of 
our approach they would break out and attack the 
citadel ; and that the innocent people in Kabul, not con- 
sidering it possible that a British force could get there 
so quickly, had made no arrangements to convey their 
families away. 

Feeling that anxiety for the safety of the families was 
not the true cause for the Amir's efforts to delay us, and 
that his sole object was to gain time for the development of 
plans for opposing our advance — which subsequent events 
proved had been made with great care — I told him it 
was impossible to accede to his wishes, but that time would 
be given for all women and children to clear out of the city 
if it should prove necessary to attack it. This necessity, 
however, I was most anxious to avoid, and earnestly hoped 
that our fighting would be over before we entered Kabul, 


for I had not forgotten Delhi, and I dreaded the idea of 
the troops having to force their way through narrow streets 
and crowded bazaars. 

Yakub Khan was evidently much chagrined at my 
decision. He had left Kabul hurriedly, his movements 
probably being hastened by hearing that his uncle, Wali 
Mahomed Khan, and several other Sirdars with whom he 
was at enmity, were on their way to join me. He had not 
even brought a tent with him, and, had he succeeded in 
inducing me to delay our advance, he would without doubt 
have returned to Kabul at once. As it was, he was accom- 
modated with a tent in the centre of the camp, and the 
best arrangements possible, under the circumstances, made 
for his entertainment. 

When his own tents arrived, he asked leave to have them 
pitched outside camp limits. To this I consented, at the 
same time ordering that a guard of the same strength as 
my own should be detailed as his escort, ostensibly to do 
him honour, but in reality that I might be kept informed 
as to his- movements. Unwelcome guest as he was, I 
thought the least of two evils was to keep him now that 
we had got him, as his presence in Kabul would be sure 
to increase the opposition I felt certain we should en- 

In response to the fears expressed by the Amir as to 
the safety of the non-combatants, I issued the following 
Proclamation to the people of Kabul : 

' Be it known to all that the British Army is advancing on Kabul to 
take possession of the city. If it be allowed to do so peacefully, well 
and good ; if not, the city will be seized by force. Therefore, all well- 



disposed persons, who have taken no part in the dastardly murder of 
the British Envoy, or in the plunder of the Eesidency, are warned that, 
if they are unable to prevent resistance being offered to the entrance of 
the British army, and the authority of His Highness the Amir, they 
should make immediate arrangements for their own safety, either by 
coming to the British camp, or by such other measures as may seem 
fit to them. And as the British Government does not make war on 
women and children, warning is given that all v/omen and children 
should be removed from the city beyond the reach of harm. The 
British Government desires to treat all classes with justice, and to 
respect their religion, feelings, and customs, while exacting full retri- 
bution from offenders. Every effort will, therefore, be made to prevent 
the innocent suffering with the guilty, but it is necessary that the utmost 
precaution should be taken against useless opposition. 

' After receipt of this Proclamation, therefore, all persons found armed 
in or about Kabul will be treated as enemies of the British Government ; 
and, further, it must be distinctly understood that, if the entry of the 
British force is resisted, I cannot hold myself responsible for any acci- 
dental injury which may be done to the persons or property of even 
well-disposed people, who may have neglected this warning.' 

At the same time, the matter having been brought to 
my notice by Lord Lytton, and bearing in my mind that 
my father had told me one of the chief causes of the 
outbreak in Kabul in 1841 was the Afghans' jealousy of 
their women, and resentment at the European soldiers' 
intimacy with them, I thought it well to impress upon all 
the necessity for caution in this respect by publishing the 
following Order : 

' Sir Frederick Koberts desires General officers, and officers com- 
manding corps, to impress upon all officers under their command the 
necessity for constant vigilance in preventing irregularities likely to 
arouse the personal jealousies of the people of Kabul, who are, of all 
races, most susceptible as regards their women. 

' The deep-seated animosity of the Afghans towards the English has 
been mainly ascribed to indiscretions committed during the first occu- 
pation of Kabul, and the Major-General trusts that the same excellent 
discipline so long exhibited by the troops under his command will 


^ ,w ft, 

Mulat to 


1 1' 


remove the prejudices of past years, and cause the British name to be 
as highly respected in Afghanistan as it is throughout the civilized 

On the 30th September (my forty-seventh birthday), all 
arrangements which it was possible for me to make having 
been completed, the Cavalry brigade marched eight miles to 
Zargunshahr, the first halting-place on the way to Kabul. 
I accompanied it, for I was informed that Wali Mahomed 
Khan and the Sirdars had arrived so far, and I could not 
let them come on to my camp so long as the Amir was still 
in it. I wished, also, to interview the Logar maliks and 
ascertain whether I could procure supplies from their 
valley. There was bread-stuff with the force sufficient for 
fourteen days, but for the transport of so much grain a 
large number of animals was required, which could ill be 
spared, for carriage was so short that I could only move a 
little more than half the troops at one time, and instead 
of being able to march direct on Kabul with 6,000 men, a 
halt would have to be made every other day to admit of 
the animals going back to bring up the rear brigade, which 
practically meant my only having at my disposal rather 
more than half that number at any one time. How 
fervently I wished that those in authority, who never can 
see the necessity for maintaining transport in time of 
peace, could be made to realize the result of their short- 
sightedness — the danger of having to divide a none too 

* It was a matter of intense gratification to me that the whole time 
we remained in Afghanistan, nearly two years, not a single complaint 
was made by an Afghan of any soldier in my force having interfered 
with the women of the country. 

1879] THE 'MALIKS' OF LOGAR 207 

large force in an enemy's country, the consequent risk 
of failure, the enormous increase of anxiety to the Com- 
mander, the delay in achieving the object of the cam- 
paign, and the additional labour to all concerned in an 
undertaking, arduous enough under the most favourable 
circumstances, in a difficult country, and under a burning 
eastern sun, even if possessed of good and sufficient trans- 

Stores had been collected at Kushi partly by means of 
local carriage, and partly by our own animals doing the 
journey twice over from Alikhel, a distance of thirty-six 
miles. So hard pressed was I for transport that I had to 
make the Cavalry soldiers march on foot and lead their 
horses laden with grain — an unusual piece of duty, 
which was, however, performed with the cheerful alacrity 
which the troops of the Kabul Field Force always dis- 

But all this is a digression. To return to my story. 
The maliks of Logar, greatly to my relief, agreed to bring 
a certain amount of supplies ; while Wali Mahomed 
Khan and the other Sirdars were full of protestations 
of loyalty and devotion. Most of them remained with me 
all the time I was in Kabul, and some of them afforded 
me considerable assistance. The Sirdars warned me 
to place no trust in the Amir, and enlarged on the 
treachery of his conduct, but as I knew they looked 
upon Yakub Khan as their own deadly enemy, I accepted 
their counsel with some reservation. I was not, how- 
ever, able to feel quite at ease about the proceedings of 
my Koyal guest, so I returned to Kushi that same evening. 




On the 1st October the whole of the Kabul Field Force 
was assembled in the Logar valley.* 

I waited at Kushi with the last of the Infantry until 
the morning of the 2nd. Just as I was leaving camp, I 
became aware that firing was going on in the direction of 
the Shutargardan, and later in the day I received a report 
from Colonel Money as to what had happened there. 

The enemy, emboldened by the diminished numbers of 
the garrison, and undervaluing what might be accomplished 
by a small number of good soldiers, had assembled in force, 
and occupied the crest of the mountain, the only place 
from which heliographic communication with me could be 
kept up. Money very properly decided that this could 
not be permitted, and considered it best to take the 

* The force was made up as follows : 


Other Ranks. 



Divisional, Brigade, and Departmental Staff 
F/A, B.H.A. .... 

G/3, B.A. 

No. 2 Mountain Battery 

Two Gatling guns .... 

9th Lancers (one squadron) - 

5th Punjab Cavalry .... 

12th Bengal Cavalry - 

14th Bengal Lancers - 

67th Foot ..... 

72nd Highlanders . . . - 

92nd Highlanders .... 

5th Punjab Infantry .... 

5th Gurkhas ----- 

23rd Pioneers .... 

28th Punjab Infantry 

7th Company Bengal Sappers and Miners 













initiative before the enemy should become still stronger, 
so ordered an advance. Under cover of the Mountain 
battery's fire, Major Griffiths, of the 3rd Sikhs, with 200 
of his own men and 50 of the 21st Punjab Infantry, 
supported by 150 rifles of the latter corps, stormed the 
Afghans' position. The assault, delivered in a most 
spirited manner, was perfectly successful. Major Griffiths, 
however, was wounded, also a signalling sergeant of the 
67th Foot and five men of the 3rd Sikhs, while the 
enemy left thirty dead on the ground, and were pursued 
down the slope of the hill without making any attempt to 

On the 3rd we marched fifteen miles to Zahidabad, 
where we first came in sight of the fortified hill above 
Kabul. The rear guard was fired into on the way, and we 
had considerable difficulty in crossing the Logar river, as 
the water from a large irrigation cut had been directed 
back into the stream just above the ford. Our only casualty 
on this day was Captain ' Dick ' Kennedy, who was wounded 
in the hand. 

It was plain from these occurrences, and from the 
attack on the Shutargardan, that the people generally 
were not disposed to be friendly. From the Amir I could 
extract no information on this head, although he must 
have been fully aware of the feelings and intentions of his 
subjects. He was in constant communication with Kabul, 
and was frequently being met by mounted messengers, who, 
from the haste with which they travelled, as evidenced 
by the exhausted state of their horses and the eagerness 
with which the Amir read the letters they brought, 
appeared to be the bearers of important tidings. 

vol. ii. 46 


It may be imagined how irritating and embarrassing was 
Yakub Khan's presence, since his position in my camp 
enabled him to give the leaders at Kabul accurate in- 
formation as to our numbers and movements. That he felt 
pretty sure of our discomfiture was apparent from his 
change of manner, which, from being at first a mixture of 
extreme cordiality and cringing servility, became as we 
neared Kabul distant and even haughty. 

On the 5th October, one month from the receipt at Simla 
of the evil tidings of the fate of the British Embassy, we 
reached the pretty little village of Charasia, nestling in 
orchards and gardens, with a rugged range of hills tower- 
ing above it about a mile away. This range descended 
abruptly on the right to permit the exit of the Logar 
river, and rose again on its other side in precipitous 
cliffs, forming a fine gorge* about halfway between our 
camp and Kabul city, now only from ten to twelve miles 

An uncle of the Amir (Sirdar Nek Mahomed Khan), 
and a General in the Afghan army, came out to meet 
Yakub Khan at this place ; he remained some time 
in earnest conversation with his nephew, and, as he was 
about to remount his horse, called out in so loud a tone 
that it was evidently meant for us all to hear, that he was 
' now going to disperse the troops.' t Very different, how- 

* Known as the samg-i-nawishta (inscribed stone). 

f Shortly after I was settled at Kabul, the following letter, written 
by Nek Mahomed on the evening of the day he had been with the 
Amir, to some person whom he wished to acquaint with the state of 
affairs, was brought to me : 

' My kind Friend, — The truth is that to-day, at sunrise, I went to 


ever, was the story brought to me by an escaped Native 
servant of Cavagnari's, who came into our camp later in 
the day. This man declared that preparations for fighting 
were steadily being carried on; that the soldiers and towns- 
people were streaming into the arsenal and supplying 
themselves with cartridges ; that large bodies of troops were 
moving out in our direction ; and that, when we advanced 
next day, we should certainly be opposed by a formidable 
force. The Amir, on having this intelligence communicated 
to him, pretended to disbelieve it utterly, and assured me 
that all was at peace in the city, that Nek Mahomed would 
keep the troops quiet, and that I should have no trouble ; 
but I was not taken in by his specious assurances. 

Now more than ever I felt the want of sufficient 
transport ! Had it been possible to have the whole of my 
force with me, I should have advanced at once, and have 
occupied that evening the range of hills I have described ; 
but Macpherson's brigade was still a march behind, and all 
I could do was, immediately on arrival, to send back every 
available transport animal to bring it up. I pushed forward 
Cavalry patrols along the three roads leading to Kabul, and 
rode out myself to reconnoitre the position in front. It 
was sufficiently strong to make me wish I had a larger 
force. Towards evening groups of men appeared on the 

the camp, the Amir having summoned me. When I arrived, Mulla 
Shah Mahomed [the Wazir] first said to me, "Go back and tell the 
people to raise a holy war." I did not feel certain about what he said 
[or was not satisfied with this] , [but] the Amir afterwards told me to 
go back that very hour and rouse the people to a ghaza. I got back to 
Kabul about 7 o'clock, and am collecting the people. Salaam.' 

The letter was not addressed, but it was sealed with Nek Mahomed's 
seal, and there was no reason to doubt its authenticity. 


skyline all round, giving unmistakable warning that the 
tribes were gathering in large numbers. 

From the information brought me by the Cavalry, and 
from my own examination of the ground, I decided to 
advance along the left bank of the river ; and to facilitate 
this movement I determined to seize the heights on either 
side of the gorge at daybreak, whether Macpherson's 
brigade had arrived or not. That night strong piquets 
were thrown out round the camp, and Cavalry patrols 
were ordered to proceed at dawn to feel for the enemy. 
Uhomme propose, mats Dieu dispose. 

[ 213 ] 


The Cavalry having reported that the road through the 
sang-i-nawishta gorge was impassable, I started off a party* 
before it was fully light on the 6th, to work at it and make 
it practicable for guns. I was preparing to follow with an 
escort of Cavalry to examine the pass and the ground 
beyond, when the growing daylight discovered large numbers 
of Afghan troops in regular formation crowning the hills 
that I ought to have been in a position to occupy the pre- 
ceding evening. No hurry, no confusion was apparent in 
their movements ; positions were taken up and guns placed 
with such coolness and deliberation that it was evident 
regularly trained troops were employed. Very soon I 
received reports of our Cavalry patrols having been fired 
upon, and of their having been obliged to retire. 

Immediate action was imperatively necessary ; the 
Afghans had to be dislodged from their strong position at 
any cost, or we should have been surrounded by over- 
whelming numbers. Their occupation of the heights was, 

* Twenty sabres, 9th Lancers, one squadron 5th Punjab Cavalry, 
two guns, No. 2 Mountain battery, 284 rifles, 92nd Highlanders, 
and 450 rifles, 23rd Pioneers. 


I felt, a warning that must not be disregarded, and a 
menace that could not be brooked. 

Behind this range of hills lay the densely-crowded city 
of Kabul, with the scarcely less crowded suburbs of 
Chardeh, Deh-i-Afghan, and numberless villages thickly 
studded over the Kabul valley, all of which were con- 
tributing their quota of warriors to assist the Eegular 
troops in disputing the advance of the British. It did 
not require much experience of Asiatics to understand 
that, if the enemy were allowed to remain undisturbed for 
a single night in the position they had taken up, their 
numbers would increase to an extraordinary extent. 

I now received a report from the rear that the road was 
blocked, and that the progress of Macpherson's brigade 
would certainly be opposed ; while, on the crests of the 
hills to the right and left of my camp, bodies of men began 
to assemble, who, I surmised (which surmise I afterwards 
learnt was correct), were only waiting for the sun to go 
down to make a general attack upon the camp under cover 
of dusk. 

The situation was one of great anxiety. The whole force 
with me was not more than 4,000 men and eighteen guns. 
The treacherous Amir and his equally treacherous Ministers 
had, of course, kept the Afghan Commander fully informed 
as to the manner in which my troops were perforce divided ; 
the position of every man and every gun with me was 
known ; and I feared that, as soon as we were engaged 
with the enemy, the opportunity would be taken to attack 
my weakly-defended camp and to engage Macpherson's 
small brigade, encumbered as it was with its large convoy 
of stores and ammunition. 


The numbers of the enemy were momentarily increas- 
ing, so delay would assuredly make matters worse ; the 
only chance of success, therefore, was to take the initia- 
tive, and attack the Afghan main position at once. 
Accordingly, I sent an officer with orders to the troops 
who were moving towards the gorge not to commence 
work, but to take up a defensive position until my 
plans were further developed. I sent another messenger 
to Macpherson, informing him of my intention to take 
immediate action, and telling him to keep a good look- 
out, and push on to Charasia with all possible speed, 
and at the same time I reinforced him by a squadron of 

The Afghan position formed the arc of a circle, extend- 
ing from the sang-i-nawishta gorge to the heights above 
Chardeh. Both sides of the gorge were occupied by the 
enemy, as was a semi-detached hill to the south of it, and 
sixteen guns were observed in position. The line they had 
taken up occupied nearly three miles of country ; and 
their main position was the ridge, which, close to the 
gorge, rose 1,000 feet above the plain, running up at its 
western extremity to a peak 2,200 feet high. Thence the 
line stretched along the edge of some lower heights to a 
rugged hill, the summit of which was about 1,800 feet 
above Charasia. In front of this formidable position were 
a succession of sandy hills, forming a series of easily 
defensible posts, and at the foot of these hills ran a bare 
stony belt, sloping down to the cultivated land surrounding 
Charasia and the hamlet of Khairabad. 

My movements and reconnaissances up till now having 
led the enemy to believe that I intended to deliver my 


attack on their left at the sang-i-nawishta, they were seen 
to be concentrating their forces in that direction. But this 
position could only have been carried with such damaging 
loss to us that I determined to make the real attack by an 
outflanking movement to their right. 

The men having made a hasty breakfast, I despatched 
General Baker in this direction, and placing at his dis- 
posal the troops noted below,* I entrusted to him the 
difficult task of dislodging the enemy, while I continued 
to distract their attention towards the gorge by making a 
feint to their left. 

Baker's little column assembled in a wooded enclosure 
close to Charasia, where he left his field hospital and 
reserve ammunition, for the safe guarding of which I 
sent him the 5th Punjab Infantry, while he was further 
reinforced by 450 men of the 23rd Pioneers and three Field 
Artillery guns. I was thus left with only six Horse Artillery 
guns, 450 Cavalry, and between 600 and 700 Infantry for 
the protection of the camp, where I was still handicapped 
by the presence of the Amir and his untrustworthy 

While Baker advanced to the left, the party near the 
sang-i-nawishta gorge, commanded by Major White, of 
the 92nd Highlanders, was ordered to threaten the pass 
and to prevent the enemy occupying any portion of the 
Charasia village, to advance within Artillery range of the 
enemy's main position above the gorge, and when the out- 

* Two guns, No. 2 Mountain battery, two Gatling guns, detach- 
ment 12th Bengal Cavalry, 72nd Highlanders, 5th Gurkhas (300 
rifles), 5th Punjab Infantry (200 rifles), No. 7 Company Sappers 
and Miners. 


flanking movement had been thoroughly developed and 
the enemy were in full retreat, but not before, to push the 
Cavalry through the gorge and pursue. 

At about 11.30 a.m. Baker's leading troops emerged 
into the open, and were immediately engaged with a crowd 
of armed Afghans, supported by a considerable body of 
Kegular troops. The General now sent one company of 
the 72nd, under Captain Hunt, to turn the Afghans off a 
succession of peaks situated at right angles to the ridge 
they were occupying on their extreme right. Eunning 
along this ridge, and stretching across the Indiki road to 
the sandhills, the Afghan right wing held a line con- 
siderably in advance of their left on the hill above the 
sang-i-naivishta gorge, and one which could not easily 
be turned, for the peaks the 72nd were sent to occupy 
were almost inaccessible, and the fire from them swept 
the slopes up which our troops must advance. These 
peaks, therefore, formed the key of the position, and their 
defenders had to be dislodged from them at all hazards 
before anything else could be attempted. The company of 
the 72nd with much difficulty fought their way up, and 
gained a footing on the first peak, where they were obliged 
to pause, until reinforced by two companies of the 5th 
Gurkhas under Captain Cook, Y.C. ; when they advanced 
all together, clearing the enemy from each successive 
point, while the remainder of the 72nd breasted the hill, 
and, under cover of the Mountain guns, attacked the 
position in front. But the enemy were obstinate, and the 
extremely difficult nature of the ground somewhat checked 
the gallant Highlanders. Seeing their dilemma Baker 
despatched two companies of the 5th Gurkhas, under Lieu- 


tenant-Colonel Fitzhugh, and 200 men of the 5th Punjab 
Infantry, under Captain Hall, to their assistance ; while 
the 23rd Pioneers were brought up on the right, in support, 
and a detachment of the 5th Punjab Infantry echeloned in 
rear, on the left of the line. 

The engagement now became hot, and the firing fast 
and furious. My readers will, I am sure, be able to 
realize with what intense excitement and anxiety I watched 
the proceedings. It was evident to me that little progress 
could be made so long as the enemy retained possession of 
the ridge, which the Afghan Commander apparently had 
just begun to appreciate was the real point of attack, for his 
troops could now be seen hurrying to this point, and it 
became more urgently necessary than ever to carry the 
position before it could be reinforced. At 2 p.m. it was 
seized ; the Highlanders and Gurkhas could no longer be 
resisted ; the Afghans wavered, and then began to retreat, 
exposed to a cross-fire that effectually prevented their 

The brunt of this affair was borne by the 72nd, admir- 
ably led by their company officers, under the skilful 
direction of Lieutenant- Colonel Clarke and his Adjutant, 
Lieutenant Murray. I closely watched their movements, 
and particularly observed one man pushing up the pre- 
cipitous hillside considerably in advance of everyone else, 
and apparently utterly regardless of the shower of bullets 
falling round him. I inquired about him later on, and 
found that he was a young Irish private of the 72nd, 
named MacMahon, to whose coolness and daring was in a 
great measure due the capture of this very strong post. 
Her Majesty, I am glad to be able to relate, subsequently 


rewarded this intrepid soldier by bestowing on him the 
Victoria Cross. 

The general advance was now sounded, and gallantly 
was it responded to. The main position was stormed by 
the Highlanders, Gurkhas and Punjab Infantry, each trying 
hard to be the first to close with its defenders. The enemy 
fought desperately, charging down on the Gurkhas, by 
whom, under the leadership of Lieutenant-Colonel Fitz- 
Hugh and his Adjutant, Lieutenant Martin, they were 
repulsed and driven over the crest with heavy loss. 

The Afghans now took up a position some 600 yards in 
the rear of that from which they had just been dislodged, 
where they made an obstinate stand for half an hour, but 
they were again forced back on the attacking party being 
strengthened by the arrival of two companies of the 92nd 
Highlanders, sent to their assistance by Major White, who 
had already successfully engaged the Afghan left above the 
sang-i-nawishta gorge. As the enemy's advanced posts on 
the hill to the south, and directly in front of the gorge, 
prevented our guns from coming within range of their 
position on the heights above, these posts had to be dis- 
posed of as a preliminary to effective co-operation with 
Baker; accordingly, about noon the hill was captured by 
two companies of the 92nd, under Captain Cotton, and 
half a battery of Field Artillery was advanced to a point 
whence Major Parry was able to engage the Afghan guns 
posted above the gorge. 

It was at this juncture, when Baker's troops, having 
carried the main position, were proceeding to attack that 
to which the enemy had retreated, that White despatched 
two companies of the 92nd, under Captain Oxley, by 


whose timely aid the determined foe were at length driven 
from this point of vantage also. The troops followed up 
their success and advanced at the double, while our guns 
shelled the shaken masses. 

The Afghan right and centre now gave way completely ; 
the enemy broke, and fled down the slope on the further 
side in a north-westerly direction, eventually taking refuge 
in the Chardeh villages. 

By 3.45 we were in possession of the whole of the main 
ridge. The first objective having been thus gained, the 
troops, pivoting on their right, brought round their left 
and advanced against the now exposed flanks of the 
enemy's left wing, and simultaneously with this move- 
ment White advanced from his position by the hill in 
front of the gorge, and a little after four o'clock had 
gained possession of the pass and twelve Afghan guns. 

Completely outflanked and enfiladed by Baker's fire, the 
left wing of the Afghan force made but little resistance ; 
they rapidly abandoned the height, and retired across the 
river towards the north-east, pursued by the small body of 
Cavalry attached to White's force, under Major Hammond, 
and a party of the 92nd, under Major Hay. 

Baker now paused to allow of the Infantry's ammu- 
nition being replenished, and then advanced along the 
ridge towards the pass, which he reached in time to help 
the Cavalry who were engaged with the enemy's rear guard 
at the river ; the latter were driven off and forced to retreat ; 
but by this time the growing darkness made further pursuit 
impossible. We were therefore compelled to rest satisfied 
with holding the ground in advance by piquets and occupy- 
ing both ends of the sang-i-nawishta defile, where the 


troops bivouacked for the night. I was able to supply 
them with food from Charasia, and they were made as 
comfortable as they could be under the circumstances. 

While the fighting was taking place on the heights in 
front of Charasia, the hills on both flanks of my camp were 
crowded with the enemy, anxiously watching the result ; 
they did not approach within the Cavalry patrols, but one 
party caused so much annoyance to a piquet by firing into 
it that it became necessary to dislodge it, a service which 
was performed in a very daring manner by a few of the 
92nd, under Lieutenant Grant and Colour- Sergeant Hector 
Macdonald, the same non-commissioned officer who had a 
few days before so distinguished himself in the Hazar- 
darakht defile. 

Our casualties were wonderfully few, only 18 killed 
and 70 wounded,* while the enemy left 300 dead behind 
them, and as they succeeded in carrying numbers of 
their killed and wounded off the field, their loss must 
have been heavy. I subsequently ascertained that we 
had opposed to us, besides thirteen Eegular regiments, 
between eight and ten thousand Afghans. Ghilzais from 
Tezin and Hisarak had hurried up in large numbers to join 
the enemy, but, luckily for us, arrived too late. Of these, 

* During the fight the Infantry expended 41,090 rounds, of which 
over 20,000 were fired by the 72nd Highlanders. The half-battery, 
G/3 E.A., fired 6 common shell (percussion fuses) and 71 shrapnel 
(time fuses) ; total, 77 rounds. No. 2 Mountain Battery fired 10 
common shell and 94 shrapnel ; total, 104 rounds. The two Gatlings 
fired 150 rounds. 

At the tenth round one of the Gatlings jammed, and had to be taken 
to pieces. This was the first occasion on which Gatling guns were 
used in action. They were not of the present improved make, and, 
being found unsatisfactory, were made but little use of. 


some returned to their homes when they found the Afghan 
army had been beaten, but the greater number waited about 
Kabul to assist in any further stand that might be made by 
the Kegular troops. 

The heliograph, worked by Captain Stratton, of the 22nd 
Foot, had been of the greatest use during the day, and kept 
me fully informed of all details. The last message as the 
sun was sinking behind the hills, confirming my own 
observations, was a most satisfactory one, to the effect that 
the whole of the enemy's position was in our possession, 
and that our victory was complete. 

Throughout the day my friend (!) the Amir, surrounded 
by his Sirdars, remained seated on a knoll in the centre of 
the camp watching the progress of the fight with intense 
eagerness, and questioning everyone who appeared as to 
his interpretation of what he had observed. So soon 
as I felt absolutely assured of our victory, I sent an Aide- 
de-camp to His Highness to convey the joyful intelligence 
of our success. It was, without doubt, a trying moment 
for him, and a terrible disappointment after the plans which 
I subsequently ascertained he and his adherents at Kabul 
had carefully laid for our annihilation. But he received 
the news with Asiatic calmness, and without the smallest 
sign of mortification, merely requesting my Aide-de-camp 
to assure me that, as my enemies were his enemies, he 
rejoiced at my victory. 

Macpherson's brigade, with its impedimenta, arrived 
before it was quite dark, so altogether I had reason to feel 
satisfied with the day's results. But the fact still remained 
that not more than twelve miles beyond stood the city 
of Kabul, with its armed thousands ready to oppose us 

1879] KABUL IN SIGHT 223 

should an assault prove necessary. I had besides received 
information of a further gathering of Ghilzais bent upon 
another attack on the Shutargardan, and that reinforce- 
ments of Kegular troops and guns were hastening to Kabul 
from Ghazni. Prompt action was the one and only means 
of meeting these threatened difficulties. My troops had had 
more than enough for one day, and required rest, but needs 
must when the devil (in the shape of Afghan hordes) drives. 
I resolved to push on, and issued orders for tents to be 
struck at once and an advance to be made at break of day. 

At the first streak of dawn on the 7th I started, leaving 
Macpherson to come on with the heavy baggage as quickly 
as he could. I marched by the sang-i-nawishta defile, where 
Major White met me and explained to me his part in the 
victory of the previous day. From my inspection of the 
ground, I had no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that 
much of the success which attended the operations on this 
side was due to White's military instincts and, at one 
supreme moment, his extreme personal gallantry. It 
afforded me, therefore, very great pleasure to recommend 
this officer for the Victoria Cross, an honour of which more 
than one incident in his subsequent career proved him to 
be well worthy. 

Our rapid advance, following on the defeat of the 
previous day, had the effect I hoped it would have. On 
arriving at Beni Hissar, a considerable village, surrounded 
by orchards and gardens, only two miles south of the far- 
famed citadel of the Bala Hissar, I sent out Cavalry 
patrols to reconnoitre, who brought me the pleasing news 
that the Bala Hissar had been evacuated, and the only 
part of the city visible seemed to be deserted. 


During the day I received visits from some of the chief 
merchants of Kabul, who each told a different tale regard- 
ing the movements of the defeated Afghan army and the 
intentions of the Afghan Commander. From their conflict- 
ing accounts, however, I gathered that, fresh troops having 
arrived from Kohistan, the remnants of the Charasia army 
had joined them, and that the combined forces were then 
occupying the range of hills immediately above Kabul, to 
the west, and had determined to make another stand. 

Having received intelligence that the enemy, if again 
defeated, intended to retire towards Turkestan, I directed 
Brigadier-General Massy, on the morning of the 8th 
October, to move out with the Cavalry brigade and place 
himself across their line of retreat.* The brigade started 
at 11 a.m., and, in order to avoid the city and adjacent 
heights, made a considerable detour by Siah Sang and 
Sherpur, the new Afghan cantonment. On reaching the 
latter place, Massy heliographed to me that he had found it 
deserted, the magazine blown up, and seventy-five gunst 
abandoned inside the enclosure, and that the enemy were 
now occupying a ridge J which seemed to him to be a 
prolongation of the Shahr-i-Darwaza range above Kabul; 
then, continuing his march, he crossed a depression in this 
ridge called the Nanachi Kotal, and wheeling to his left, 
and skirting the Asmai heights on the western side, he 

* The troops available for this purpose were: One squadron 9th 
Lancers, 5th Punjab Cavalry, 12th Bengal Cavalry, and 14th Bengal 
Lancers ; total, 720 of all ranks. 

f The guns included four English 18-pounders, one English 8-inch 
howitzer and two Afghan imitations of this weapon, and forty-two 
bronze Mountain guns. 

X The Asmai heights. 


soon came in sight of the Afghan camp, pitched on the 
slope of the hills about a mile from Deh-i-Mazang. 

Brigadier- General Massy was informed, in reply to his 
heliogram, that Baker would be despatched at once to drive 
the enemy from their position and force them to fall back 
upon the Cavalry, upon which Massy immediately made 
the arrangements which appeared to him most advisable 
for blocking, with the limited number of sabres at his 
disposal, the several roads by which the enemy might 
attempt to escape. 

I could only spare to Baker a very small force (1,044 
rifles, two Mountain guns and one Gatling), for Mac- 
pherson's and White's troops had not yet come up. 
He started off without a moment's delay, and, driving 
the enemy's scouts before him, worked his way along 
the Shahr-i-Darwaza heights to the west ; but his pro- 
gress was very slow, owing to the extreme difficulty of 
the ground, and the day was far spent before he found 
himself near enough to the enemy to use his Artillery. 
To his delight, Baker perceived that he commanded 
the Afghan camp and the rear of their main position; 
but his satisfaction was considerably allayed when he 
discovered that between him and them lay a deep 
gorge* with precipitous sides, through which ran the 
Kabul river, and that before he could attack he would 
have to descend 1,600 feet, and then climb up the 
opposite side, which was nearly as high and quite as 

Anxious as Baker was that there should be no delay 
in delivering the assault, by the time his dispositions 

* The Deh-i-Mazang gorge. 
vol. 11. 47 


were made it had become too dark to attempt it, and 
most reluctantly he had to postpone the movement till 
daybreak the next day. He had ascertained that the Kabul 
river was not fordable for Infantry except at a point which 
was commanded by the enemy's camp, and was too far 
from support to warrant piquets being pushed across at 
night. Nothing whatever could be seen, but a very slight 
noise as of stealthy movement in the Afghan camp was 
heard, and the fear seized Baker that the enemy might 
escape him. Soon after 11 p.m., therefore, when the 
rising moon began in a measure to dispel the darkness, 
Baker sent a strong patrol under a British officer to feel 
for the enemy. The patrol came into contact with the 
Afghan scouts on the river-bank, from some of whom, 
taken prisoners in the struggle, they learned that the 
enemy had crept away under cover of the night, and the 
greater number had dispersed to their own homes ; but 
about 800, mounted on Artillery horses, were reported to 
have accompanied their Commander, Mahomed Jan, and to 
have escaped in the direction of Bamian. 

Meanwhile, Brigadier- General Massy, from his point of 
observation beneath the Asmai heights, had perceived 
that it was impossible for Baker to carry the enemy's main 
position by daylight ; he tried to communicate with Baker 
and ascertain his plans, but the party despatched on this 
service were unable to get through the villages and woods, 
which were all held by the enemy, and returned unsuc- 
cessful. Massy then collected his scattered squadrons and 
bivouacked for the night, being anxious that his men and 
horses should have food and rest, and it not having struck 


him that the enemy might attempt to escape during the 
hours of darkness. 

The information that in very truth they had escaped was 
brought to Baker at 4.30 a.m. He at once communicated 
it to Massy, telling him at the same time that any movement 
the Cavalry might make in pursuit would be supported by 
the troops under his immediate command, and also by a 
brigade under Brigadier-General Macpherson, which I had 
despatched to reinforce Baker ; Macpherson and White, 
with their respective troops, having arrived at Beni Hissar 
shortly after Baker had started. 

I joined Baker at this time, and great was my disappoint- 
ment at being told that the Afghans had given us the slip. 
I went carefully over the ground, however, and satisfied 
myself that Baker had done all that was possible under the 
circumstances, and that the enemy having eluded us could 
not in any way be attributed to want of care or skill on his 

Massy scoured the country until nightfall on the 9th, 
but with very little success, only one small party of 
fugitives being overtaken about four-and-twenty miles on 
the road to Ghazni. Numbers, doubtless, found shelter in 
the city of Kabul, others in the numerous villages with 
which the richly-cultivated Chardeh valley was thickly 
studded, and whose inhabitants were hostile to a man ; 
others escaped to the hills ; and the remainder, having 
had ten hours' start, could not be overtaken. 

The enemy's camp was left standing, and twelve guns, 
some elephants, camels, mules, and ponies, fell into our 


During that day our camp was moved nearer the city to 
Siah Sang, a commanding plateau between the Kabul and 
Logar rivers, close to their confluence, and less than a 
mile east of the Bala Hissar. The 5th Gurkhas and two 
Mountain guns were left to hold the heights on which 
Brigadier- General Baker had been operating, and the rest 
of the force was concentrated on Siah Sang. 

[ 229 1 


At last I was at Kabul, the place I had heard so much of 
from my boyhood, and had so often wished to see ! The 
city lay beneath me, with its mud-coloured buildings and 
its 50,000 inhabitants, covering a considerable extent of 
ground. To the south-east corner of the city appeared the 
Bala Hissar, picturesquely perched on a saddle just beneath 
the Shahr-i-Darwaza heights, along the top of which ran a 
fortified wall, enclosing the upper portion of the citadel 
and extending to the Deh-i-Mazang gorge. 

Kabul was reported to be perfectly quiet, and numbers of 
traders came into our camp to dispose of their wares ; but 
I forbade anyone to enter the city until I had been able to 
decide upon the best means of maintaining order amongst 
a population for the most part extremely fanatical, 
treacherous, and vindictive. 

So far our success had been complete : all opposition 
had been overcome, Kabul was at our mercy, the Amir was 
in my camp ready to agree to whatever I might propose, 
and it had been all done with extraordinarily little loss to 
ourselves. Nevertheless, I felt my difficulties were very far 
from being at an end — indeed, the part of my duty still 
remaining to be accomplished was surrounded with far 


greater difficulty, and was a source of much more anxiety 
to me than the military part of the task I had undertaken ; 
for, with regard to the latter, I possessed confidence in 
myself and my ability to perform it, whereas, with respect 
to the political and diplomatic side of the question, actual 
personal experience I had none, and I could only hope 
that common-sense and a sense of justice would carry me 

The instructions I had received from the Government of 
India were very general in their character, for the Viceroy 
felt that my proceedings must necessarily depend on the 
state of affairs obtaining at Kabul, the acts and attitude of 
the Amir and his people, and the various conditions im- 
possible to foresee when the Foreign Office letter was 
written to me on the 29th September. But, though 
general, they were very comprehensive. 

The troops were to be placed in strong and secure 
positions, such as would give me complete control over 
the Amir's capital ; any Afghan soldiers remaining at 
Kabul, and the whole of the city population, were to be 
disarmed ; supplies were to be collected in sufficient 
quantities to render my force independent in case of 
interruption along the line of communication ; Yakub 
Khan's personal safety was to be secured, and adequate 
supervision maintained over his movements and actions ; 
a close investigation was to be instituted into all the 
causes and circumstances connected with the ' totally 
unprovoked and most barbarous attack by the Amir's 
soldiery and the people of his capital upon the representa- 
tive of an allied State, who was residing under the Amir's 
protection in the Amir's fortress, in very close proximity to 


the Amir himself, and whose personal safety and honour- 
able treatment had been solemnly guaranteed by the Kuler 
of Afghanistan.' 

The retribution to be exacted was to be adapted to the 
twofold character of the offence, and was to be imposed 
upon the Afghan nation in proportion as the offence was 
proved to be national, and as the responsibility should be 
brought home to any particular community. Further, the 
imposition of a fine, it was suggested, upon the city of 
Kabul 'would be in accordance with justice and precedent/ 
and the demolition of fortifications and removal of buildings, 
within range of my defences, or which might interfere with 
my control over the city, might be ' necessary as a military 

In forming my plans for the removal of obstructive 
buildings, I was to consider ' whether they can be com- 
bined with any measures compatible with justice and 
humanity for leaving a memorial of the retribution exacted 
from the city in some manner and by some mark that will 
not be easily obliterated.' 

I was told that 'in regard to the punishment of indi- 
viduals, it should be swift, stern, and impressive, without 
being indiscriminate or immoderate ; its infliction must not 
be delegated to subordinate officers of minor responsibility 
acting independently of your instructions or supervision ; 
and you cannot too vigilantly maintain the discipline of the 
troops under your orders, or superintend their treatment 
of the unarmed population, so long as your orders are 
obeyed and your authority is unresisted. You will deal 
summarily in the majority of cases with persons whose 
share in the murder of anyone belonging to the British 


Embassy shall have been proved by your investigations, 
but while the execution of justice should be as public and 
striking as possible, it should be completed with all pos- 
sible expedition, since the indefinite prolongation of your 
proceedings might spread abroad unfounded alarm.' 

The despatch concluded with the words : ' It will pro- 
bably be essential, not only for the protection of your own 
camp from annoyance, but also for the security of the 
well-affected population and for the general maintenance 
of order, that you should assume and exercise supreme 
authority in Kabul, since events have unfortunately proved 
that the Amir has lost that authority, or that he has con- 
spicuously failed to make use of it.' 

On the 10th I visited Sherpur, and the next day I 
went to the Bala Hissar, and wandered over the scene of 
the Embassy's brave defence and cruel end. The walls 
of the Eesidency, closely pitted with bullet holes, gave 
proof of the determined nature of the attack and the 
length of the resistance. The floors were covered with 
blood-stains, and amidst the embers of a fire were found a 
heap of human bones. It may be imagined how British 
soldiers' hearts burned within them at such a sight, and 
how difficult it was to suppress feelings of hatred and 
animosity towards the perpetrators of such a dastardly 
crime. I had a careful but unsuccessful search made for 
the bodies of our ill-fated friends. 

The Bala Hissar, at one time of great strength, was now 
in a somewhat dilapidated condition. It contained eighty- 
five guns, mortars and howitzers, some of them of English 
manufacture, upwards of 250 tens of gunpowder, stowed 
away in earthen vessels, many millions of Enfield and Snider 


cartridges, and a large number of arms, besides quantities 
of saddlery, clothing for troops, musical instruments, shot, 
shell, caps, and accoutrements, and a vast amount of lead, 
copper and tin. It would not have given us much trouble 
to storm the Bala Hissar, had we been obliged to do so, 
for Artillery could have opened on it within easy range, 
and there was cover for Infantry close up to the walls. 

The reading of the Proclamation announcing the inten- 
tions of the British Government with regard to the 
punishment of the city was to take place in the Bala 
Hissar next day. The Amir had agreed to accompany me. 
The leading people were invited to attend, and I had given 
orders that all the troops were to take part in the pro- 
cession, so as to render as impressive as possible the cere- 
mony, at which were to be made known to the inhabitants 
of Kabul the terms imposed upon them by the British 
Government. The object of my visit was to decide how 
the troops might best be disposed so as to make the most 
imposing display on the occasion. 

I decided to detain in custody two Sirdars, Yahia Khan* 
and his brother Zakariah Khan, the Mustaufi, and the 
Wazir, as these four were Yakub Khan's principal advisers, 
and I was satisfied that their influence was being used 
against us, and that so long as they were at large a mine 
might be sprung upon me at any moment. 

The Commander-in-Chief, Daud Shah, was also in the 
Amir's confidence ; but I determined to leave him at liberty, 
for, from what I could learn, he had made an effort (not a 
very strong one, perhaps) to help our unfortunate country- 
men, and he had on several occasions since he had been in 
* Yahia Khan was Yakub Khan's father-in-law. 


my camp given me useful information ; moreover, I hoped 
to obtain further help from him, in which hope I was not 
altogether disappointed. 

As to what I ought to do with the Amir I w 7 as consider- 
ably puzzled. Lord Lytton had urged upon me the neces- 
sity for weighing well the advisability of prematurely 
breaking with him, as it was very possible he might 
become a useful instrument in our hands, an eventuality 
which I thoroughly understood ; but I was not at all sure 
that Yakub Khan would not break with me when he learnt 
my decision with regard to his Ministers, and I had 
received more than one warning that, if he failed to keep 
me from entering Kabul, he contemplated flight and a 
supreme effort to raise the country against me. 

Yakub Khan certainly did not deserve much considera- 
tion from us ; for, though no absolute proof was forth- 
coming of his having instigated the attack upon the 
Embassy, he most certainly made not the slightest effort to 
stop it or to save the lives of those entrusted to his care, 
and throughout that terrible day showed himself to be, if 
not a deliberate traitor, a despicable coward. Again, his 
endeavours to delay the march of my force for the sole pur- 
pose of gaining sufficient time to organize the destruction 
of the army to whose protection he had appealed deprived 
him, to my mind, of the smallest claim to be treated as 
an honourable ally. 

My doubts as to what policy I ought to pursue with 
regard to Yakub Khan were all solved by his own action on 
the morning of the 12th October. He came to my tent 
before I was dressed, and asked for an interview, which 
was, of course, accorded. The only chair I possessed I 


offered to my Eoyal visitor, who seated himself, and then 
and there announced that he had come to resign the Amir- 
ship, and that he was only carrying out a determination 
made before he came to Kushi ; he had then allowed 
himself to be over-persuaded, but now his resolution was 
fixed. His life, he said, had been most miserable, and 
he would rather be a grass-cutter in the English camp 
than Euler of Afghanistan ; he concluded by entreating 
me to allow his tent to be pitched close to mine until he 
could go to India, to London, or wherever the Viceroy 
might desire to send him. I placed a tent at his disposal, 
ordered breakfast to be prepared for him, and begged him 
not to decide at once, but think the matter over for some 
hours, adding that I would see him again at ten o'clock, 
the hour appointed for him to accompany me to the Bala 
Hissar in order that he might be present at the reading of 
the Proclamation. At this time, it must be remembered, 
the Amir did not know what the terms of the Proclamation 
were, and was entirely ignorant of my intentions regarding 
his Ministers. 

As arranged, I had another interview with Yakub Khan 
at ten o'clock, when I found him unshaken in his resolve 
to abdicate, and unwilling, under the circumstances, to be 
present at the ceremony which was about to take place. 
He said, however, that he would send his eldest son, and 
that all his Ministers should attend me. I begged him 
again to reconsider the decision he had come to, and to 
think well over the results to himself ; but finding that he 
had finally* made up his mind, I told his Highness I would 

* At an interview which Major Hastings, the Political Officer, and 
Mr. Durand, my Political Secretary, had with His Highness at my 


telegraph his determination to the Viceroy and ask for 
instructions ; that he would not, of course, be forced to 
continue to reign at Kabul against his will, but that I 
would ask him to retain his title until I could receive a 
reply from Simla. 

At noon I proceeded to the Bala Hissar, accompanied by 
my staff, the Heir-Apparent, the Ministers, and a large 
gathering of the chief Sirdars of Kabul. Both sides of the 
road were lined with troops, of whom I felt not a little 
proud that day. Notwithstanding that the duty required of 
them had been severe and continuous, now that they were 
required to take part in a ceremonial parade, they turned 
out as clean and smart as one could wish to see them. 

As the head of the procession entered the main gateway, 
the British flag was run up, the bands played the National 
Anthem, and a salute of thirty- one guns was fired. 

On arriving at the public Hall of Audience, I dis- 
mounted, and ascending the steps leading to it, I 

request on the 23rd October, he said, referring to the subject of the 
Amirship : ' I call God and the Koran to witness, and everything a 
Mussulman holds sacred, that my only desire is to be set free, and 
end my days in liberty. I have conceived an utter aversion for 
these people. I always treated them well, and you see how they have 
rewarded me. So long as I was fighting in one place or another, they 
liked me well enough. Directly I became Amir, and consulted their 
own good by making peace with you, they turned on me. Now I 
detest them all, and long to be out of Afghanistan for ever. It is not 
that I am unable to hold the country ; I have held it before and could 
hold it again, but I have no further wish to rule such a people, and I 
beg of you to let me go. If the British Government wish me to stay, 
I will stay, as their servant or as the Amir, if you like to call me so, 
until my son is of an age to succeed me, or even without that con- 
dition ; but it will be wholly against my own inclination, and I earnestly 
beg to be set free.' 




addressed the assembled multitude, and read to them 
the following Proclamation, containing the orders of the 
British Government : 

' In my Proclamation dated the 3rd October, I informed the people 
of Kabul that a British army was advancing to take possession of 
the city, and I warned them against offering any resistance to the 
entry of the troops and the authority of His Highness the Amir. That 
warning has been disregarded. The force under my command has 
now reached Kabul and occupied the Bala Hissar, but its advance has 
been pertinaciously opposed, and the inhabitants of the city have taken 
a conspicuous part in the opposition offered. They have therefore 
become rebels against His Highness the Amir, and have added to the 
guilt already incurred by them in abetting the murder of the British 
Envoy and his companions — a treacherous and cowardly crime which 
has brought indelible disgrace upon the Afghan people. It would be 
but a just and fitting reward for such misdeeds if the city of Kabul 
were now totally destroyed and its very name blotted out; but the 
great British Government ever desires to temper justice with mercy, 
and I now announce to the inhabitants of Kabul that the full retri- 
bution for their offence will not be exacted, and that the city will be 

' Nevertheless, it is necessary that they should not escape all penalty, 
and, further, that the punishment inflicted should be such as will be 
felt and remembered. Therefore, such portions of the city buildings 
as now interfere with the proper military occupation of the Bala Hissar, 
and the safety and comfort of the British troops to be quartered in it, 
will be at once levelled with the ground ; and, further, a heavy fine, 
the amount of which will be notified hereafter, will be imposed upon the 
inhabitants of Kabul, to be paid according to their several capacities. 
I further give notice to all, that, in order to provide for the restoration 
and maintenance of order, the city of Kabul and the surrounding 
country, to a distance of ten miles, are placed under martial law. 
With the consent of His Highness the Amir, a military Governor of 
Kabul will be appointed, to administer justice and punish with a strong 
hand all evil-doers. The inhabitants of Kabul and of the neighbouring 
villages are hereby warned to submit to his authority. 

' This punishment, inflicted upon the whole city, will not, of course, 
absolve from further penalties those whose individual guilt may be 
hereafter proved. A full and searching inquiry into the circumstances 
of the late outbreak will be held, and all persons convicted of having 
taken part in it will be dealt with according to their deserts. 


' With the view of providing effectually for the prevention of crime 
and disorder, and the safety of all well-disposed persons in Kabul, it is 
hereby notified that for the future the carrying of dangerous weapons, 
whether swords, knives, or firearms, within the streets of the city or 
within a distance of five miles from the city gates, is forbidden. After 
a week from the date of this Proclamation, any person found armed 
within those limits will be liable to the penalty of death. Persons 
having in their possession any articles whatsoever which formerly 
belonged to members of the British Embassy are required to bring 
them forthwith to the British camp. Anyone neglecting this warning 
will, if found hereafter in possession of any such articles, be subject 
to the severest penalties. 

1 Further, all persons who may have in their possession any firearms 
or ammunition formerly issued to or seized by the Afghan troops, are 
required to produce them. For every country-made rifle, whether 
breech or muzzle loading, the sum of Es. 3 will be given on delivery, 
and for every rifle of European manufacture Rs. 5. Anyone found 
hereafter in possession of such weapons will be severely punished. 
Finally, I notify that I will give a reward of Bs. 50 for the surrender 
of any person, whether soldier or civilian, concerned in the attack on 
the British Embassy, or for such information as may lead directly to 
his capture. A similar sum will be given in the case of any person who 
may have fought against the British troops since the 3rd September 
(Shawal) last, and therefore become a rebel against His Highness the 
Amir. If any such person so surrendered or captured be a captain 
or subaltern officer of the Afghan army, the reward will be increased 
to Rs. 75, and if a field officer to Rs. 120.' 

The Afghans were evidently much relieved at the leniency 
of the Proclamation, to which they listened with the 
greatest attention. When I had finished reading it, I dis- 
missed the assembly, with the exception of the Ministers 
whom I had decided to make prisoners. To them I 
explained that I felt it to be my duty to place them under 
restraint, pending investigation into the part they had 
taken in the massacre of the Embassy. 

The following day I made a formal entry into the 
city, traversing all its main streets, that the people might 
understand that it and they were at our mercy. The 


Cavalry brigade headed the procession ; I followed with 
my staff and escort, and five battalions of Infantry 
brought up the rear ; there were no Artillery, for in some 
places the streets were so narrow and tortuous that two 
men could hardly ride abreast. 

It was scarcely to be expected the citizens would give us 
a warm welcome ; but they were perfectly respectful, and I 
hoped the martial and workmanlike appearance of the 
troops would have a salutary effect. 

I now appointed Major- General James Hills, V.C., go 
be Governor of Kabul for the time being, associating 
with him the able and respected Mahomedan gentleman, 
Nawab Ghulam Hussein Khan, as the most likely means of 
securing for the present order and good government in 
the city. I further instituted two Courts — one political, 
consisting of Colonel Macgregor, Surgeon-Major Bellew,* 
and Mahomed Hyat Khan, a Mahomedan member of the 
Punjab Commission, and an excellent Persian and Pushtu 
scholar, to inquire into the complicated circumstances 
which led to the attack on the Kesidency, and to ascertain, 
if possible, how far the Amir and his Ministers were im- 
plicated. The other, a military Court, with Brigadier- 
General Massy as president, for the trial of those Chiefs 
and soldiers accused of having taken part in the actual 
massacre, t 

* Dr. Bellew was with the brothers Lumsden at Kandahar in 1857. 

f My action in endorsing the proceedings of this court, and my 
treatment of Afghans generally, were so adversely and severely 
criticized by party newspapers and periodicals, and by members of the 
Opposition in the House of Commons, that I was called upon for an 
explanation of my conduct, which was submitted and read in both 
Houses of Parliament by the Secretary of State for India, Viscount 


Up to this time (the middle of October) communication 
with India had been kept up by way of the Shutargardan, 
and I had heard nothing of the approach of the Khyber 
column. It was so very necessary to open up the Khyber 
route, in view of early snow on the Shutargardan, that I 
arranged to send a small force towards Jalalabad, and to 
move the Shutargardan garrison to Kabul, thus breaking 
off communication with Kuram. 

Colonel Money[had beaten off another attack made by the 
tribesmen on his position, but as they still threatened him 
in considerable numbers, I despatched Brigadier-General 
Hugh Gough with some troops to enable him to with- 
draw. This reinforcement arrived at a most opportune 
moment, when the augmented tribal combination, imagining 
that the garrison was completely at its mercy, had sent a 
message to Money offering to spare their lives if they laid 
down their arms ! So sure were the Afghans of their 
triumph that they had brought 200 of their women to 
witness it. On Gough' s arrival, Money dispersed the 
gathering, and his force left the Shutargardan, together 
with the Head-Quarters and two squadrons of the 9th 
Lancers, which had been ordered to join me from Sialkot, 
and afterwards proved a most valuable addition to the Kabul 
Field Force. 

I was sitting in my tent on the morning of the 16th 
October, when I was startled by a most terrific explosion 

Cranbrook, and the Under-Secretary of State for India, the Hon. E. 
Stanhope. In the Parliamentary records of February, 1880, can be 
seen my reply to the accusations, as well as an abstract statement of 
the executions carried out at Kabul in accordance with the findings of 
the military Court. 


in the upper part of the Bala Hissar, which was occupied 
by the 5th Gurkhas, while the 67th Foot were pitched in 
the garden below. The gunpowder, stored in a detached 
building, had somehow — we never could discover how — 
become ignited, and I trembled at the thought of what 
would be the consequences if the main magazine caught 
fire, which, with its 250 tons of gunpowder, was dangerously 
near to the scene of the explosion. I at once sent orders 
to the Gurkhas and the 67th to clear out, and not to wait 
even to bring away their tents, kits, or anything but 
their ammunition, and I did not breathe freely till they 
were all safe on Siah Sang. The results of this disaster 
as it was, were bad enough, for Captain Shafto, E.A. 
(a very promising officer), a private of the 67th, the 
Subadar-Major of the 5th Gurkhas, and nineteen Natives, 
most of them soldiers, lost their lives. 

A second and more violent explosion took place two hours 
and a half after the first, but there was no loss of life 
amongst the troops, though several Afghans were killed at 
a distance of 400 yards from the fort. 

There was given on this occasion a very practical ex- 
emplification of the good feeling existing between the 
European soldiers and the Gurkhas. The 72nd and the 
5th Gurkhas had been much associated from the com- 
mencement of the campaign, and a spirit of camaraderie 
had sprung up between them, resulting in the Highlanders 
now coming forward and insisting on making over their 
greatcoats to the little Gurkhas for the night — a very 
strong proof of their friendship, for at Kabul in October 
the nights are bitterly cold. 

Two telegrams received about this time caused the 

vol. 11. 48 


greatest gratification throughout the force. One was from 
the Commander-in-Chief, conveying Her Majesty's expres- 
sion of ' warm satisfaction ' at the conduct of the troops ; 
the other was from the Viceroy, expressing his ' cordial 
congratulations ' and His Excellency's ' high appreciation 
of the ability with which the action was directed, and the 
courage with which it was so successfully carried out.' I 
was informed at the same time by Lord Lytton that, on 
the recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief, I was 
given the local rank of Lieutenant- General, to enable me 
to be placed in command of all the troops in eastern 
Afghanistan, a force of 20,000 men and 46 guns, in two 
divisions. The first division remained under my own imme- 
diate command, and Major- General K. 0. Bright, C.B.,* 
was appointed to the command of the other. I was, of 
course, very much pleased at this proof of the confidence 
reposed in me. 

* Afterwards General Sir Kobert Bright, G.C.B. 

[ 2 43 ] 


I had given much thought to the question of housing the 
troops during the winter, which was now fast approaching. 
Some of the senior officers were in favour of quartering 
them in the Bala Hissar, as being the place with most 
prestige attached to it ; but the fact that there was not 
accommodation in it for the whole force, and that, there- 
fore, the troops would have to be separated, as well as 
the dangerous proximity of the huge store of gunpowder, 
which could only be got rid of by degrees, decided me to 
occupy in preference the partly-fortified cantonment of 
Sherpur, about a mile north-east of the city, and close to 
the ruins of the old British entrenchment. It was en- 
closed on three sides by a high and massive loop-holed 
wall, and on the fourth by the Bimaru heights, while it 
possessed the advantage of having within its walls sufficient 
shelter in long ranges of brick buildings for the British 
troops, and good hospital accommodation, and there was 
ample space for the erection of huts for the Native 

The drawback was that the great extent of its peri- 
meter, more than four and a half miles, made it a 


very difficult place to defend ; but, remembering the 
grievous results of General Elphinstone's force being 
scattered in 1841, I thought the advantage of being able 
to keep my troops together outweighed the disadvantage 
of having to defend so long a line. 

Materials for the Native soldiers' huts were brought 
from the Bala Hissar, the demolition of which, as an act 
of retributive justice, I had recommended to the Govern- 
ment of India, as it appeared to me that the destruction 
of the fortified palace in which the massacre had taken 
place, and which was the symbol of their power and their 
boasted military strength, would be a more fitting punish- 
ment for treachery and insult than any other we could 
inflict, and a more lasting memorial of our ability to 
avenge our countrymen than any we could raise. The 
tidings that their ancient citadel had been levelled to the 
ground would, I felt sure, spread throughout the length 
and breadth of Afghanistan, bearing with them a political 
significance that could hardly be over-estimated. 

I now set to work to collect supplies for the winter. All 
khalsa, or State grain, we took as our right, the justice of 
this being recognized both by the Amir and the people, but 
what was the property of private individuals was pur- 
chased at a price the avaricious Afghan could not resist. 
There had been a good harvest, and supplies were 
abundant ; but the people from the outlying districts were 
chary of assisting us, for they knew from experience that 
all who befriended the British would be sure to suffer when 
we took our departure. 

I had repeated complaints brought to me of the harshness 
and injustice with which those who had shown themselves 


well disposed towards us were treated by the Amir on his 
return from signing the Treaty at Gandamak, and most of 
the Afghans were so afraid of the Amir's vengeance when 
they should again be left to his tender mercies, that they 
held aloof, except those who, like Wali Mahomed Khan 
and his following, were in open opposition to Yakub Khan, 
and some few who were still smarting from recent injury 
and oppression. 

I was frequently asked by the Afghans, when requiring' 
some service to be rendered, ' Are you going to remain ?' 
Could I have replied in the affirmative, or could I have said 
that we should continue to exercise sufficient control over 
the Government of the country to prevent their being 
punished for helping us, they would have served us 
willingly. Not that I could flatter myself they altogether 
liked us, but they would have felt it wise in their own 
interests to meet our requirements ; and, besides, the great 
mass of the people were heartily sick and tired of a long 
continuance of oppression and misrule, and were ready to 
submit (for a time at least) to any strong and just Govern- 

Lord Lytton, in the hope of saving from the resent- 
ment of the Amir those who had been of use to us 
in the early part of the war, had expressly stipulated in 
Article II. of the Gandamak Treaty that ' a full and 
complete amnesty should be published, absolving all 
Afghans from any responsibility on account of inter- 
course with the British Forces during the campaign, and 
that the Amir should guarantee to protect all persons 
of whatever degree, from punishment or molestation on 
that account.' 


But this stipulation was not adhered to. Yakub Khan 
more than once spoke to me about it, and declared 
that it was impossible to control the turbulent spirits 
in Afghanistan without being supreme, and that this 
amnesty, had it been published, would have tied his 
hands with regard to those who had proved themselves 
his enemies. 

His neglect to carry out this Article of the treaty added 
considerably to my difficulty, as will be seen from the 
following letter from Asmatula Khan, a Ghilzai Chief, to 
whom I wrote, asking him to meet me at Kabul. 

* I received your kind letter on the 8th of Shawal [28th September] , 
.and understood its contents, and also those of the enclosed Proclama- 
tion to the people of Kabul. I informed all whom I thought fit of the 
•contents of the Proclamation. 

' Some time ago I went to Gandamak to Major Cavagnari. He in- 
structed me to obey the orders of the Amir, and made me over to His 
Highness. When Major Cavagnari returned to India, the Amir's 
officials confiscated my property, and gave the Chiefship to my cousin* 
[or enemy], Bakram Khan. 

' The oppression I suffered on your account is beyond description. 
They ruined and disgraced every friend and adherent of mine. On the 
return of Major Cavagnari to Kabul, I sent my Naib [deputy] to him, 
who informed him of my state. Major Cavagnari sent a message to 
me to the effect that I should recover my property by force if I could, 
otherwise I should go to the hills, and not come to Kabul until I heard 
from him. In the meantime I received news of the murder of the 
Envoy, and I am still in the hills.' 

The thought of what might be in store for those who 
were now aiding me troubled me a good deal. No doubt 

* In Pushtu the word tarbur signifies a cousin to any degree, and 
is not ^infrequently used as ' enemy,' the inference being that in 
Afghanistan a cousin is necessarily an enemy. 


their help was not disinterested, but they were 'friends 
in need,' and I could not be quite indifferent to their 

I had several interesting conversations with Yakub Khan, 
and in discussing with him Sher Ali's reasons for breaking 
with us, he dwelt on the fact that his father, although he 
did not get all he wished out of Lord Mayo, was fairly 
satisfied and content with what had been done for him, 
but when Saiyad Nur Mahomed returned from Simla in 
1873, he became thoroughly disgusted, and at once made 
overtures to the Kussians, with whom constant intercourse 
had since been kept up. 

Yakub Khan's statements were verified by the fact that 
we found Kabul much more Eussian than English. The 
Afghan Sirdars and officers were arrayed in Eussian 
pattern uniforms, Eussian money was found in the 
treasury, Eussian wares were sold in the bazaars, and 
although the roads leading to Central Asia were certainly 
no better than those leading to India, Eussia had taken 
more advantage of them thau we had to carry on com- 
mercial dealings with Afghanistan.* 

* As I reported at the time, the magnitude of Sher Ali's military 
preparations was, in my opinion, a fact of peculiar significance. He had 
raised and equipped with arms of precision sixteen regiments of Cavalry 
and sixty-eight of Infantry, while his Artillery amounted to nearly 300 
guns. Numbers of skilled artisans were constantly employed in the 
manufacture of rifled cannon and breech-loading small arms. Swords, 
helmets, uniforms, and other articles of military equipment, were stored 
in proportionate quantities. Upon the construction of the Sherpur 
cantonment Sher Ali had expended an astonishing amount of labour 
and money. The size and cost of this work may be judged from the 
fact that the main line of rampart, with barrack accommodation, 


When I inquired of Yakub Khan what had become of the 
correspondence which must have been carried on between 
his father and the Eussians, he declared that he had 
destroyed it all when on his way to Gandamak ; never- 
theless, a certain number of letters* from Generals Kauff- 
mann and Stoliatoff came into my possession, and a draft 
of the treaty the latter officer brought from Tashkent was 
made for me from memory by the man who had copied 
it for Sher Ali, aided by the Afghan official who was 
told off to be in attendance on Stoliatoff, and who had 
frequently read the treaty. 

In one of my last conversations with Yakub Khan, he 
advised me 'not to lose sight of Herat and Turkestan.' 
On my asking him whether he had any reason to suppose 
that his representatives in those places meant to give 
trouble, he replied : ' I cannot say what they may do ; but, 
remember, I have warned you.' He, no doubt, knew more 
than he told me, and I think it quite possible that he had 

extended to a length of nearly two miles under the western and 
southern slopes of the Bimaru hills, while the original design was to 
carry the wall entirely round the hills, a distance of four and a half 
miles, and the foundations were laid for a considerable portion of this 
length. All these military preparations must have been going on for 
some years, and were quite unnecessary, except as a provision for 
contemplated hostilities with ourselves. Sher Ali had refused during 
this time to accept the subsidy we had agreed to pay him, and it is 
difficult to understand how their entire cost could have been met from 
the Afghan treasury, the annual gross revenue of the country at that 
time amounting only to about 80 lakhs of rupees. 

* These letters, as well as my report to the Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of India in the Foreign Department, with an account of my 
conversation with Yakub Khan, are given in the Appendix. 


some inkling of his brother's* (Ayub Khan's) intentions, 
in regard to Kandahar, and he probably foresaw that Abdur 
Eahman Khan would appear on the scene from the direction 
of Turkestan. 

I duly received an answer to my telegram regarding 
the abdication of Yakub Khan, in which I was informed 
that His Highness's resignation was accepted by Her 
Majesty's Government, and I was directed to announce 
the fact to the people of Afghanistan in the following 
terms : 

1 1, General Koberts, on behalf of the British Government, hereby 
proclaim that the Amir, having by his own free will abdicated, has left 
Afghanistan without a Government. In consequence of the shameful 
outrage upon its Envoy and suite, the British Government has been 
compelled to occupy by force of arms Kabul, the capital, and to take 
military possession of other parts of Afghanistan. 

' The British Government now commands that all Afghan authorities, 
Chiefs, and Sirdars do continue their functions in maintaining order, 
referring to me whenever necessary. 

' The British Government desire that the people shall be treated with 
justice and benevolence, and that their religious feelings and customs 
be respected. 

'The services of such Sirdars and Chiefs as assist in preserving 
order will be duly recognized, but all disturbers of the peace and 
persons concerned in attacks upon the British authority will meet with 
condign punishment. 

' The British Government, after consultation with the principal 
Sirdars, tribal Chiefs, and others representing the interests and wishes 
of the various provinces and cities, will declare its will as to the future 
permanent arrangements to be made for the good government of the 

This manifesto was issued on the 28th October, and 
the same day I informed Yakub Khan that his abdication 

* Sirdar Ayub Khan was Governor of Herat in 1879. 


had been accepted, and acquainted him with the orders 
passed by the British Government in connexion with this 

Yakub Khan showed no interest either in the Pro- 
clamation, a Persian translation of which was read to him, 
or the Government's decision as to himself, and made no 
comment beyond a formal 'bisyar khub' ('very good') 
and an inclination of the head. 

I then told Yakub Khan that, as I was now charged 
with the government of the country, it was necessary that 
I should take possession of the treasury and all moneys 
therein. He signified his assent, but demurred to certain 
sums being considered as public property, contending that 
they formed part of his father's wealth, and that the 
British Government might as well take from him his choga, t 
this also having come from the pockets of the people. ' My 
father was Padishah,' he said ; ' there was no distinction 
between public and private money. However,' he went 
on, ' I have given up the crown, and I am not going to 
dispute about rupees. You may take all I have, down to 
my clothes ; but the money was my father's, and is mine 
by right.' 

I replied that it was necessary that all money in his 
possession should be given up, but that his private effects 
should not be touched ; that he would be given a receipt 
for the money, and that, if the Government of India 

* There were present at the interview, besides myself, Colonel 
Macgregor, Major Hastings, Surgeon-Major Bellew, Nawab Sir Ghulam 
Hussein Khan, and Mr. H. M. Durand. 

f A kind of mantle worn by Afghans. 


decided it to be his personal property, it should be returned 
to him. 

This Yakub Khan at first declined to accept, with some 
show of temper. Eventually he came round, and said, 
1 Yes, give me a receipt, so that no one may say hereafter 
that I carried off State money to which I had no right. It 
can be easily made sure that I have no money when 
I go.'* 

Spite of all his shortcomings, I could not help feeling 
sorry for the self-deposed Buler, and before leaving him I 
explained that he would be treated with the same considera- 
tion that had always been accorded to him, that Nawab Sir 
Ghulam Hussein Khan t should have a tent next to his, and 
that it should be the Nawab's care to look after his comfort 
in every way, and that I should be glad to see him 
whenever he wished for an interview. That same day, 
under instructions, I issued the following further mani- 
festo : 

' In my Proclamation of yesterday I announced that His Highness the 
Amir had of his own free will abdicated, and that for the present the 
government of Afghanistan would be carried on under my supervision. 
I now proclaim that, in order to provide for the cost of administration, 
I have taken possession of the State treasury, and that, until the 

* As Yakub Khan refused under one pretext or another to deliver up 
any money, Major Moriarty, the officer in charge of the Kabul Field 
Force treasure-chest, and Lieutenant Neville Chamberlain, accom- 
panied by an escort, searched a house in the city in which a portion of 
Yakub Khan's money was said to be concealed. Upwards of eight and 
a half lakhs of rupees, and a certain amount of jewellery and gold 
coins, tillas and Eussian five-rouble pieces, in all amounting to nine 
and a half lakhs, were found. This sum was subsequently refunded 
to the Afghan Government. 

f The Nawab had been made a K.C.S.I. 


British Government shall declare its will as to the permanent arrange- 
ments to be made for the future good government of the country, the 
collection of revenue and the expenditure of public money will be 
regulated by me. All persons concerned are hereby informed that 
they must obey without dispute or delay such orders as may be issued 
by me in regard to the payment of taxes and other connected matters ; 
and I give plain warning that anyone resisting or obstructing the 
execution of such orders will be treated with the utmost severity as an 
enemy to the British Government.' 

[ 253 ] 


On the 1st November my Head-Quarters and the 1st 
division moved into Sherpur, which the Engineers had 
prepared for winter quarters, and where stores of provisions 
and forage were assuming satisfactory proportions. The 
same day Brigadier- General Macpherson left Kabul with a 
brigade of about 1,800 men and four guns to join hands with 
the troops which I had lately heard were advancing from 
the Khyber, and had reached Gandamak. I joined Mac- 
pherson the following morning at Butkhak, about eleven 
miles from Kabul, where our first post towards the Khyber 
had already been established. It was very important that 
our communication with India should be by a route good 
enough for wheeled carriages ; I was therefore anxious to 
see for myself if it were not possible to avoid the Khurd- 
Kabul Pass, which was said to be very difficult. I had, 
besides, a strong wish to visit this pass, as being the scene 
of Sir Kobert Sale's fight with the tribesmen in 1841, and 
of the beginning of the massacre of General Elphinstone's 
unfortunate troops in 1842.* The Afghan Commander- 
in-Chief, Daud Shah, and several Ghilzai Chiefs, accom- 
panied me; from them I learned that an easier road did 

* A most thrilling account of Elphinstone's retreat through this pass 
is given in Kaye's ' History of the War in Afghanistan,' vol. ii., p. 229. 


exist, running more to the east, and crossing over the 
Lataband mountain. Personal inspection of the two lines 
proved that Daud Shah's estimate of their respective diffi- 
culties was correct ; the Lataband route was comparatively 
easy, there was no defile as on the Khurd-Kabul side, 
and the kotal, 8,000 feet above the sea, was reached by a 
gradual ascent from Butkhak. However, I found the 
Khurd-Kabul much less difficult than I had imagined 
it to be ; it might have been made passable for carts, but 
there was no object in using it, as the Lataband route 
possessed the additional advantage of being some miles 
shorter; accordingly I decided upon adopting the latter 
as the line of communication with India. 

Macpherson reported that the country beyond Khurd- 
Kabul was fairly settled, and that, on the 7th, he had been 
able to open communication with Brigadier- General 
Charles Gough, commanding Bright's leading brigade. I 
was thus again brought into communication with India, 
and in a position to clear my hospitals of those amongst 
the sick and wounded who were not progressing favourably, 
and could not soon be fit for duty. 

By this time the Inquiry Commission had completed 
its difficult task of trying to sift the truth concerning 
the fate of Cavagnari and his companions from the mass 
of falsehood with which it was enveloped. The pro- 
gress had been slow, particularly when examination touched 
on the part Yakub Khan had played in the tragedy ; 
witnesses were afraid to give evidence openly until they 
were convinced that he would not be re-established in a 
position to avenge himself. The whole matter had been 
gone into most fully, and a careful perusal of the proceed- 


ings satisfied me that the Amir could not have been 
ignorant that an attack on the Kesidency was contem- 
plated. He may not have foreseen or desired the massacre 
of the Embassy, but there was no room for doubt as to his 
having connived at a demonstration against it, which, had 
it not ended so fatally, might have served him. in good 
stead as a proof of his inability to guarantee the safety 
of foreigners, and thus obtain the withdrawal of the 

It was impossible, under these circumstances, that Yakub 
Khan could ever be reinstated as Kuler of Kabul, and his 
remaining in his present equivocal position was irksome to 
himself and most embarrassing to me. I therefore recom- 
mended that he should be deported to India, to be dealt 
with as the Government might decide after reviewing the 
information elicited by the political Court of Inquiry, which 
to me appeared to tell so weightily against the ex-Amir, that, 
in my opinion, I was no longer justified in treating as rebels 
to his authority Afghans who, it was now evident, had only 
carried out his secret, if not his expressed, wishes when 
opposing our advance on Kabul. I decided, therefore, to 
proclaim a free and complete amnesty* to all persons not 

* The amnesty Proclamation ran as follows : 

' Kabul, 

' 12th November, 1879. 

' To all whom it may concern. On the 12th October a Proclamation 
was issued in which I offered a reward for the surrender of any person 
who had fought against the British troops since the 3rd September, 
and had thereby become a rebel against the Amir Yakub Khan. I 
have now received information which tends to show that some, at least, 
of those who shared in the opposition encountered by the British troops 
during their advance on Kabul, were led to do so by the belief that the 
Amir was a prisoner in my camp, and had called upon the soldiery and 
people of Kabul to rise on his behalf. Such persons, although enemies 


concerned, directly or indirectly, in the attack on the 
Residency, or who were not found hereafter in possession 
of property belonging to our countrymen or their escort, 
on the condition that they surrendered their arms and 
returned to their homes. 

At Daud Shah's suggestion, I sent three influential 
Sirdars to the Logar, Kohistan, and Maidan valleys, 
to superintend the collection of the amount of forage 
which was to be levied from those districts ; and in 
order to lessen the consumption at Kabul, I sent away all 
elephants,* spare bullocks, and sick transport animals. 

to the British Government, were not rebels against their own Sovereign, 
and the great British Government does not seek for vengeance against 
enemies who no longer resist. It may be that few only of those who 
took up arms were thus led away by the statements of evil-minded 
men, but rather than punish the innocent with the guilty, I am willing 
to believe that all were alike deceived. On behalf of the British 
Government, therefore, I proclaim a free and complete amnesty to 
all persons who have fought against the British troops since the 
3rd September, provided that they now give up any arms in their 
possession and return to their homes. The offer of a reward for the 
surrender of such persons is now withdrawn, and they will not for the 
future be molested in any way on account of their opposition to the 
British advance ; but it must be clearly understood that the benefits of 
this amnesty do not extend to anyone, whether soldier or civilian, 
who was concerned directly or indirectly in the attack upon the 
Kesidency, or who may hereafter be found in possession of any 
property belonging to members of the Embassy. To such persons no 
mercy will be shown. Further, I hold out no promise of pardon to 
those who, well knowing the Amir's position in the British camp, 
instigated the troops and people of Kabul to take up arms against the 
British troops. They have been guilty of wilful rebellion against the 
Amir's authority, and they will be considered and treated as rebels 
wherever found.' 

* There was a slight fall of snow on the 11th November, followed 
by severe frost, and the elephants were beginning to suffer from the 
cold. Three of them succumbed on the Lataband Kotal, much to the 


In furtherance of the same object, as soon as Macpherson 
returned, I sent Baker with a brigade into the Maidan 
district, about twenty miles from Kabul, on the Ghazni 
road, where the troops could more easily be fed, as it was 
the district from which a large proportion of our supplies 
was expected, and I also despatched to India all time- 
expired men and invalids who were no longer fit for 

Towards the end of November, Mr. Luke, the officer in 
charge of the telegraph department, who had done admir- 

annoyance of the olfactory nerves of all passers-by. It was impossible 
to bury the huge carcases, as the ground was all rock, and there was 
not wood enough to burn them. So intense was the cold that the ink 
froze in my pen, and I was obliged to keep my inkstand under my 
pillow at night. 

* This party marched towards India on the 14th November, followed 
by a second convoy of sickly men on the 27th idem. On this latter 
date the strength of the 1st and 2nd Divisions, Kabul Field Force, and 
the Eeserve at Peshawar was as follows : 

British Force. 

Native Force. 



Rank & 



1st Division, at and around 
Kabul .... 

2nd Division, on the Khyber 






Reserve at Peshawar - 








7,120 238 



Total :- 

483 British officers. 
7,120 British troops. 
18,304 Native troops. 

Grand total :— 25,907 with 60 guns, 24 with 1st Division, and 36 
with 2nd Division and the Eeserve 

vol. 11. 49 


able work throughout the campaign, reported that com- 
munication was established with India. As, however, 
cutting the telegraph-wires was a favourite amusement of 
the tribesmen, a heliograph was arranged at suitable 
stations between Landi Kotal and Kabul, which was 
worked with fair success to the end of the war. Had we 
then possessed the more perfect heliographic apparatus 
which is now available, it would have made us, in that land 
of bright sun, almost independent of the telegraph, so far 
as connexion with Landi Kotal was concerned. 

Hearing that Baker was experiencing difficulty in col- 
lecting his supplies, I joined him at Maidan to satisfy 
myself how matters stood. The headmen in the neigh- 
bourhood refused to deliver the khalsa grain they had been 
ordered to furnish, and, assisted by a body of Ghilzais from 
Ghazni and Wardak, they attacked our Cavalry charged 
with collecting it, and murdered our agent, Sirdar Mahomed 
Hussein Khan. For these offences I destroyed the chief 
malik's fort and confiscated his store of grain, after which 
there was no more trouble, and supplies came in freely. I 
returned to Kabul, and Baker, with his brigade, followed 
me on the 1st December. 

That same day Yakub Khan was despatched by double 
marches to India, careful precautions having been taken 
to prevent his being rescued on the way. When saying 
good-bye to him, he thanked me warmly for the kind- 
ness and consideration he had received, and assured me 
that he left his wives and children in my hands in the 
fullest confidence that they would be well treated and cared 

A week later I sent off the two Sirdars, Yahia Khan and 


Zakariah Khan, as well as the Wazir, whose guilt had been 
clearly proved, and whose powerful influence, I had every 
reason to believe, was being used to stir up the country 
against us. The Mustaufi I allowed to remain ; he had 
been less prominent than the others in opposing us, and, 
besides, I had an idea that he might prove useful to me in 
the administration of the country. 

[ 260 


The general political situation, as it developed itself in 
the early part of December, and the causes which appeared 
to me to have contributed to produce it, may be briefly 
summarized as follows. After the outbreak in the previous 
September and the massacre of our Envoy, the advance of 
the British force was too rapid to give the Afghans, as a 
nation, time to oppose us. At Charasia, the troops, aided 
by large numbers of the disaffected townspeople, were 
conspicuously beaten in the open field ; their organization 
as an armed body was at an end, and their leaders all 
sought personal safety in flight. 

It appears probable that at this period the general 
expectation amongst the Afghans was that the British 
Government would exact a heavy retribution from the 
nation and city, and that, after vengeance had been satis- 
fied, the army would be withdrawn. 

Thirty-seven years before, a British massacre had been 
followed by a temporary occupation of the city of Kabul, 
and just as the troops of Pollock and Nott, on that occasion, 
had sacked and destroyed the great bazaar and then retired, 
so in 1879 the people believed that some signal punish- 
ment would again be succeeded by the withdrawal of our 


troops. Thus a period of doubt and expectation ensued 
after the battle of Charasia ; the Afghans were waiting 
on events, and the time had not arrived for a general 

This pause, however, was marked by certain occurrences 
which doubtless touched the national pride to the quick, and 
which were also susceptible of being used by the enemies of 
the British Government to excite into vivid fanaticism the 
religious sentiment, which has ever formed a prominent 
trait in the Afghan character. 

The prolonged occupation by foreign troops of the for- 
tified cantonment which had been prepared by the late 
Amir Sner Ali for his own army ; the capture of the large 
park of Artillery, and of the vast munitions of war, which 
had raised the military strength of the Afghans to a 
standard unequalled among Asiatic nations ; the destruc- 
tion of their historic fortress, the residence of their Kings ; 
and, lastly, the deportation to India of their Amir and his 
principal Ministers, were all circumstances which united to 
increase to a high pitch the antipathy naturally felt towards 
a foreign invader. 

The temper of the people being in this inflammable 
condition, it was clear that only disunion and jealousy 
amongst their Chiefs prevented their combining against us, 
and that if any impetus could be given to their religious 
sentiment strong enough to unite the discordant elements 
in a common cause, a powerful movement would be initiated, 
having for its object our annihilation or expulsion from 
their country. Such an impetus was supplied by the 
fervent preaching of the aged mulla Mushk-i-Alam,* who 

* Fragrance of the universe. 


denounced the English in every mosque throughout the 
country. The people were further incited to rise by the 
appeals of the ladies of Yakub Khan's family to popular 
sympathy, and bribed to do so by the distribution of the 
concealed treasure at their command. 

The mullas, in short, became masters of the situa- 
tion, and, having once succeeded in subordinating private 
quarrels to hatred of the common foe, the movement rapidly 
assumed the aspect of a religious war. The Afghan suc- 
cesses of 1841-42 were cited as examples of what might 
happen again, and the people were assured that, if they 
would only act simultaneously, the small British army in 
Sherpur would be overwhelmed, and the plunder of our 
camp would be part of their reward. 

From time to time reports reached me of what was going 
on, and, from the information supplied to me, I gathered 
that the Afghans intended to gain possession of the city, 
and, after occupying the numerous forts and villages in 
the neighbourhood of Sherpur, to surround the canton- 

It was under the stimulating influences of religious 
enthusiasm, patriotic and military ardour, the prestige of 
former success, and the hope of remuneration and plunder, 
that the Afghans took the field against us early in 

It was arranged that the forces from the south* should 
seize the range of hills extending from Charasia to the 
Shahr-i-Darwaza heights, including the fortifications of 
the upper Bala Hissar and the high conical peak called the 

* Viz., Logar, Zurmat, the Mangal and Jadran districts, and the 
intervening Ghilzai country. 


Takht-i-Shah; that those from the north* should occupy 
the Asmai heights and hills to the north of Kabul ; and 
those from the westt should make direct for the city. 

As it was evident to me that these several bodies, when 
once concentrated at Kabul, would be joined by the 
thousands in the city, and the inhabitants of the adjoining 
villages, I determined to try and deal with the advancing 
forces in detail, and disperse them, if possible, before the 
concentration could be effected. I had, however, but a 
very imperfect idea of the extent of the combination, 
or of the enormous numbers arrayed against us. My 
intelligence was most defective ; neither the nature of the 
country nor the attitude of the people admitted of extended 
reconnaissances, and I was almost entirely dependent for 
information on Afghan sources. Some of the Afghan 
soldiers in our ranks aided me to the best of their ability, 
but by the Sirdars, notably Wali Mahomed Khan, I was, 
either wilfully or from ignorance, grossly misinformed as to 
the formidable character of the rising. But that there was 
serious trouble ahead was plain enough when the con- 
flicting reports had been carefully sifted, and I therefore 
thought it only prudent to telegraph to General Bright at 
Jalalabad to push on the Guides Corps, although I was 
very much averse to augmenting the Sherpur garrison, and 
thereby increasing the drain on our supplies. 

In the meantime immediate action was necessary to carry 
out my idea of preventing the different sections of the 
enemy concentrating at Kabul. I accordingly prepared 
two columns : one under Macpherson, whose orders were 
to attack the tribesmen coming from the north before they 
* Kohistan. f Maidan and Ghazni. 


could join those advancing from the west ; the other under 
Baker, who was instructed to place himself across the line 
by which the enemy would have to retreat when beaten, as 
I hoped they would be, by Macpherson. 

Macpherson* started on the 8th towards Kila Aushar, 
about three miles from Sherpur, en route to Arghandeh. 
And on the following morning Baker, with a small force, t 
proceeded to Chihal Dukhteran, giving out that his desti- 
nation was the Logar valley, and that he would march 
by Charasia, as I had directed him to make a feint in 
that direction, and then to turn to the west, and place 
himself between Arghandeh and Maidan, on the Ghazni 

To give Baker time to carry out this movement, I halted 
Macpherson at Kila Aushar on the 9th, whence he sent out 
two reconnoitring parties — one in the direction of Kohistan, 
the other, in charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Lockhart,! 
A.Q.M.G., towards Arghandeh. 

The intelligence brought in induced me to change my 
orders to Macpherson. The first party reported that a 
very considerable force of Kohistanis had collected at 
Karez-i-Mir, about ten miles north of Kila Aushar, while 
Lockhart had discovered large numbers of the enemy 
moving from Arghandeh and Paghman towards Kohistan. 
Accordingly, I directed Macpherson to attack the Kohis- 

* Macpherson had with him the following troops : 4 guns K.H.A. ; 
4 guns Mountain battery ; 1 squadron 9th Lancers ; 2 squadrons 14th 
Bengal Lancers ; 401 rifles 67th Foot ; 509 rifles 3rd Sikhs ; 393 rifles 
5th Ghurkas. 

f Baker's column consisted of : 4 guns Mountain battery ; 3 troops 
5th Punjab Cavalry ; 25 Sappers and Miners ; 450 rifles 92nd High- 
landers ; 450 rifles 5th Punjab Infantry. 

% Now Lieutenant -General Sir William Lockhart, K.C.B., K.C.S.I. 


tanis, in the hope of being able to disperse them before 
the people from Ghazni could join them ; and, as the 
part of the country through which he had to move was 
unsuited to Horse Artillery and Cavalry, I ordered him to 
leave the mounted portion of his column, except one 
squadron of Cavalry, at Kila Aushar. 

Macpherson made a rapid advance on the morning of the 
10th December, skirting the fringe of low hills which 
intervenes between Kohistan and the Chardeh valley. 
He reached the Surkh Kotal — which divides western 
Kohistan from the Arghandeh valley — without opposition. 
From this point, however, the Kohistanis were sighted, 
occupying a position about two miles to his right front, 
their centre on a steep, conical, isolated hill, at the base of 
which lay the village of Karez-i-Mir. 

Macpherson was now able to obtain a good view of the 
Paghman and Chardeh valleys on his left and left rear, and 
the numerous standards planted on the different knolls 
near the villages of Paghman gave ample evidence of the 
presence of the enemy discovered by Lockhart the previous 
day, and showed him that, unless he could quickly succeed 
in scattering the Kohistanis, he would find himself attacked 
by an enemy in his rear, in fact, between two fires. 

Macpherson made his disposition for an attack with skill 
and rapidity. Leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Money with one 
company of the 67th, five companies of the 3rd Sikhs, and 
two guns, to hold the ridge, he sent the remainder of the 
Sikhs to harass the enemy's left flank and support the 
Cavalry, who were ordered to hover about and threaten 
the line of retreat, while Macpherson himself went forward 
with the rest of the force. 


The Kohistanis retreated rapidly before our skirmishers, 
and the attacking party, protected by a well-directed fire 
from Morgan's guns, advanced with such promptitude that 
the enemy made no attempt to rally until they reached the 
conical hill, where they made a stubborn resistance. The 
hill was carried by assault, its defenders were driven off, 
leaving seven standards on the field, and Morgan, bringing 
up his Artillery, inflicted severe loss on the flying Kohistanis. 
On this occasion Major Cook, V.C., of the 5th Gurkhas, 
was again noticed for his conspicuous gallantry, and Major 
Griffiths, of the 3rd Sikhs, greatly distinguished himself. 
Our casualties were one officer (Lieutenant-Colonel Fitz- 
Hugh) and six men wounded. 

It was evident that the tribesmen from the directions of 
Arghandeh and Paghman intended to ascend the Surkh 
Kotal, but suddenly they appeared to change their minds, 
on discovering, probably, that our troops held all the 
commanding positions and that their allies were in full 

Soon after noon on the 10th I received the report of 
Macpherson's success and the enemy's retirement towards 
Arghandeh. I at once sent off Lieutenant - Colonel B. 
Gordon, E.H.A., with orders to intercept them with the 
Horse Artillery and Cavalry at Aushar ; but when I rode 
over myself later in the day to that place, I was much 
disappointed to find that Gordon had not been able to give 
effect to my instructions, as the enemy, on perceiving his 
troops, dispersed and took shelter in the surrounding 
villages and on the slopes of the hills. 

Macpherson encamped for the night between the Surkh 
Kotal and Karez-i-Mir, and Baker, who had steadily 


pursued his march along a very difficult road, halted a 
short distance west of Maidan and eight miles only from 

To Macpherson I sent orders to march very early 
the next morning — the 11th — through Paghman towards 
Arghandeh and in Baker's direction ; at the same time I 
informed him that Massy, whom I had placed in command 
of the troops at Aushar, would, according to directions from 
me, leave that place at nine o'clock to co-operate with him, 
via the Arghandeh and Ghazni road. That evening Massy 
came to my room, and I carefully explained to him his part 
in the next day's proceedings ; I told him that he was to 
advance cautiously and quietly by the road leading directly 
from the city of Kabul towards Arghandeh, feeling for the 
enemy ; that he was to communicate with Macpherson and 
act in conformity with that officer's movements ; and I 
impressed upon him that he was on no account to commit 
himself to an action until Macpherson had engaged the 

Up to this time the combination of tribesmen, which 
later proved so formidable, had not been effected; Mac- 
pherson for the time being had dispersed the Kohistanis 
and checked the force advancing from Ghazni under the 
leadership of Mahomed Jan; the Logaris and Ghilzais 
were merely watching events, and waiting to see how it 
fared with the Kohistani and Ghazni factions, before com- 
mitting themselves to hostilities ; they had but recently 
witnessed our successful advance through their country ; 
they knew that their homes and property would be at our 
mercy should we be victorious, and they were uncertain as 
to Baker's movements. 


On the morning of the 11th December,* therefore, only 
one section was actually in opposition to us, that led by 
Mahomed Jan, who during the night of the 10th had 
taken up a position near the group of villages known as 
Kila Kazi. 

Further, I felt that Mahomed Jan must be disheartened at 
our recent success, and at his failure to induce the Logaris 
to join him, and doubtless felt that a movement towards 
Kabul would expose his left flank to Macpherson, while 
his rear would be threatened by Baker. 

The strength of Baker's and Macpherson' s columns had 
been carefully considered, as well as the routes they were 
to take. I was thoroughly well acquainted with the ground 
comprised in the theatre of the proposed operations, having 
frequently ridden over it during the preceding two months ; 
I was thus able to calculate to a nicety the difficulties each 
column would have to encounter and the distances they 
would have to cover, and arrange with the utmost pre- 
cision the hour at which each Commander should move off 

* On the 11th December, the troops at and around Kabul amounted 
to 6,352 men and 20 guns, which were thus disposed : 

Baker's column 
Macpherson' s column 
Massy' s column 
At Sherpur 

There were besides at Butkhak and^ 
Lataband - - - / 

And the Guides Corps, which reached"! 

Sherpur on the evening of the 11th J- 679 
December J 












- 20 



Total - - 8,374 - 22 


to insure a timely junction. So that when I left Sherpur 
at ten o'clock on the 11th December to take command of 
Macpherson's and Massy's columns as soon as they should 
unite, I had no misgivings, and was sanguine that my 
carefully arranged programme would result in the dis- 
comfiture of Mahomed Jan ; but the events which followed 
on that day afforded a striking exemplification of the un- 
certainty of war, and of how even a very slight divergence 
from a General's orders may upset plans made with the 
greatest care and thought, and lead to disastrous results. 

Massy could not have clearly understood the part he was 
meant to take in co-operation with Macpherson, for instead 
of following the route I had directed him to take, he 
marched straight across country to the Ghazni road, which 
brought him face to face with the enemy before he could be 
joined by Macpherson. -In his explanatory report Massy 
stated that he had been misled by a memorandum* which 
he received from the Assistant -Adjutant -General after his 
interview with me (although this memorandum contained 
nothing contradictory of the orders I had given him) ; that 
he understood from it that his business was to reach the 
Ghazni road at its nearest point in the direction of 
Arghandeh, and that he thought it better, with a thirty 
miles' march in prospect, to take the most direct line in 
order to save his horses, to economize time in a short 
December day, and to keep as near as he could to the 

* The memorandum was as follows : 

' Brigadier-General Massy will start at eight a.m. to-morrow with a 
squadron of Cavalry, join the Cavalry and Horse Artillery now out 
under Colonel Gordon, taking command thereof, and operating towards 
Arghandeh in conjunction with Brigadier- General Macpherson. The 
troops to return in the evening.' 


column with which he was to co-operate ; further, he stated 
that he was under the impression there was little likeli- 
hood of his meeting with any of the enemy nearer than 

On starting from Aushar Massy detached a troop of the 
9th Lancers to communicate with Macpherson. This 
reduced his column to 247 British and 44 Native Cavalry, 
with 4 Horse Artillery guns. 

As the party moved along the Chardeh valley, a loud 
beating of drums was heard, and Captain Bloomfield 
Gough, 9th Lancers, commanding the advance guard, per- 
ceived when he had moved to about a mile north of Kila 
Kazi, that the enemy were occupying hills on both sides 
of the Ghazni road, about two miles to his left front, and 
sent back word to that effect. Massy, not believing that 
the Afghans had collected in any considerable numbers, 
continued to advance ; but he was soon undeceived by the 
crowds of men and waving standards which shortly came into 
view moving towards Kila Kazi. He then ordered Major 
Smith-Wyndham to open fire, but the range, 2,900 yards, 
being considered by Colonel Gordon, the senior Artillery 
officer, too far for his six-pounders, after a few rounds the 
guns were moved across the Ghazni road, and again 
brought into action at 2,500 yards ; as this distance was 
still found to be too great, they were moved to 2,000 yards. 
The enemy now pressed forward on Massy's left flank, 
which was also his line of retreat, and the guns had to be 
retired about a mile, covered on the right and left by the 
9th Lancers and the 14th Bengal Lancers respectively, 
and followed so closely by the Afghans that when fire was 
next opened they were only 1,700 yards distant. Four 


Horse Artillery guns could do nothing against such 
numbers attacking without any regular formation, and 
when the leading men came within carbine range, Massy 
tried to stop them by dismounting thirty of the 9th Lancers ; 
but their fire ' had no appreciable effect.' 

It was at this critical moment that I appeared on the 
scene. Warned by the firing that an engagement was 
taking place, I galloped across the Chardeh valley as fast 
as my horse could carry me, and on gaining the open 
ground beyond Bhagwana, an extraordinary spectacle was 
presented to my view. An unbroken line, extending for 
about two miles, and formed of not less than between 9,000 
and 10,000 men, was moving rapidly towards me, all on 
foot save a small body of Cavalry on their left flank — in 
fact, the greater part of Mahomed Jan's army. To meet 
this formidable array, instead of Macpherson's and Massy' s 
forces, which I hoped I should have found combined, there 
were but 4 guns, 198 of the 9th Lancers under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Cleland, 40 of the 14th Bengal Lancers under 
Captain Philip Neville, and at some little distance Gough's 
troop of the 9th Lancers, who were engaged in watching 
the enemy's Cavalry. 

The inequality of the opposing forces was but too pain- 
fully apparent. The first glance at the situation showed 
me the hopelessness of continuing the struggle without 
Infantry. Up to that moment our casualties had not been 
many, as Afghans seldom play at long bowls, it being 
necessary for them to husband their ammunition, and 
when, as in the present instance, they outnumber their 
adversaries by forty to one, they universally try to come 
to close quarters and use their knives. 


My first thought was how to secure the best and shortest 
line of retreat ; it lay by Deh-i-Mazang, but in order to use 
it, the gorge close by that village had to be held ; for if the 
enemy reached it first they would have no difficulty in 
gaining the heights above Kabul, which would practically 
place the city at their mercy. 

I was very anxious also to prevent any panic or disturb- 
ance taking place in Kabul. I therefore told General Hills, 
who just then opportunely joined me, to gallop to Sherpur, 
explain to Brigadier-General Hugh Gough, who had been 
placed in temporary command of that place, how matters 
stood, and order 200 of the 72nd Highlanders to come to 
Deh-i-Mazang with the least possible delay. I directed 
Hills, after having delivered this message, to make for 
the city, shut the gates, and do all in his power to 
keep the people quiet, while warning the Kizilbashes* to 
be prepared to defend their quarter. I then despatched 
my nephew and A.D.C., Lieutenant John Sherston, to 
Macpherson to inform him of what had happened, and 
desire him to push on with the utmost speed. 

Having taken these precautionary measures, I sent 
another A.D.C., Captain Pole Carew, to Brigadier-General 
Massy to direct him to try and find a way by which the 
guns could retire in case of a necessity, which appeared to 
me to be only too probable. 

The engagement had now become a question of time. 
If Mahomed Jan could close with and overwhelm our small 
force, Kabul would be his ; but if, by any possibility, his 

* Kizilbashes are Persians by nationality and Shiah Mahomedans 
by religion. They formed the vanguard of Nadir Shah's invading 
army, and after his death a number of them settled in Kabul, where 
they exercise considerable influence. 


advance could be retarded until Macpherson should come 
up, we might hope to retain possession of the city. It 
was, therefore, to the Afghan leader's interest to press on, 
while it was to ours to delay him as long as we possibly 

Pole Carew presently returned with a message from 
Massy that the enemy were close upon him, and that he 
could not keep them in check. I desired Pole Carew to 
go back, order Massy to retire the guns, and cover the 
movement by a charge of Cavalry. 

The charge was led by Lieutenant- Colonel Cleland and 
Captain Neville, the former of whom fell dangerously 
wounded ; but the ground, terraced for irrigation purposes 
and intersected by nullas, so impeded our Cavalry that 
the charge, heroic as it was, made little or no impres- 
sion upon the overwhelming numbers of the enemy, now 
flushed with the triumph of having forced our guns to 
retire. The effort, however, was worthy of the best 
traditions of our British and Indian Cavalry, and that it 
failed in its object was no fault of our gallant soldiers. 
To assist them in their extremity, I ordered two of Smyth- 
Windham's four guns to halt and come into action while the 
other two continued to retire, but these had not gone far 
before they got into such difficult ground that one had to 
be spiked and abandoned in a water-cut, where Smyth- 
Windham found it when he came up after having fired a 
few rounds at the fast-advancing foe. I now ordered Smyth- 
Windham to make for the village of Bhagwana with his three 
remaining guns, as the only chance left of saving them. This 
he did, and having reached the village, he again opened fire 
from behind a low wall which enclosed the houses ; but the 

vol. 11. 50 


ammunition being nearly expended, and the enemy close at 
hand, there was nothing for it but to limber up again and 
continue the retirement through the village. At the further 
side, however, and forming part of its defences, was a 
formidable obstacle in the shape of a ditch fully twelve feet 
deep, narrowing towards the bottom ; across this Smyth- 
Windham tried to take his guns, and the leading horses 
had just begun to scramble up the further bank, when one 
of the wheelers stumbled and fell, with the result that the 
shafts broke and the gun stuck fast, blocking the only 
point at which there was any possibility of getting the 
others across. 

With a faint hope of saving the guns, I directed 
Captain Stewart-Mackenzie, who had assumed command 
of the 9th Lancers on Cleland being disabled, to make a 
second charge, which he executed with the utmost 
gallantry,* but to no purpose ; and in the meanwhile 
Smyth-Windham had given the order to unhook and spike 
the guns. 

By this time the enemy were within a few hundred 
yards of Bhagwana, and the inhabitants had begun to fire 
at us from the roofs of their houses. I was endeavour- 
ing to help some men out of the ditch, when the head- 
man of the village rushed at me with his knife, seeing 
which, a Mahomedant of the 1st Bengal Cavalry, who 
was following me on foot, having just had his horse shot 
under him, sprang at my assailant, and, seizing him 

* Stewart- Mackenzie's horse was shot, and fell on him, and he was 
extricated with the greatest difficulty. 

t Mazr Ali was given the order of merit for his brave action, and 
is now a Native officer in the regiment. 


round the waist, threw him to the bottom of the ditch, 
thereby saving my life.* 

Suddenly the Afghans stayed their advance for a few 
minutes, thinking, as I afterwards learnt, that our Infantry 
were in the village — a pause which allowed many of our 
Cavalry who had lost their horses to escape.f 

* Our Chaplain (Adams), who had accompanied me throughout the 
day, behaved in this particular place with conspicuous gallantry. 
Seeing a wounded man of the 9th Lancers staggering towards him, 
Adams dismounted, and tried to lift the man on to his own charger. 
Unfortunately, the mare, a very valuable animal, broke loose, and was 
never seen again. Adams, however, managed to support the Lancer 
until he was able to make him over to some of his own comrades. 

Adams rejoined me in time to assist two more of the 9th who were 
struggling under their horses at the bottom of the ditch. Without 
a moment's hesitation, Adams jumped into the ditch. He was an 
unusually powerful man, and by sheer strength dragged the Lancers 
clear of their horses. The Afghans meanwhile had reached Bhagwana, 
and were so close to the ditch that I thought my friend the padre 
could not possibly escape. I called out to him to look after himself, 
but he paid no attention to my warnings until he had pulled the almost 
exhausted Lancers to the top of the slippery bank. Adams received 
the Victoria Cross for his conduct on this occasion. 

f These men were much impeded by their long boots and their 
swords dangling between their legs ; the sight, indeed, of Cavalry 
soldiers trying to defend themselves on foot without a firearm confirmed 
the opinion I had formed during the Mutiny, as to the desirability for 
the carbine being slung on the man's back when going into action. 
Lieutenant- Colonel Bushman (Colonel Cleland's successor) curiously 
enough had brought with him from England a sling which admitted of 
this being done, and also of the carbine being carried in the bucket on 
all ordinary occasions. This pattern was adopted, and during the 
remainder of the campaign the men of the 9th Lancers placed their 
carbines on their backs whenever the enemy were reported to be in 
sight. At the same time I authorized the adoption of an arrangement 
— also brought to my notice by Colonel Bushman, by which the sword 
was fastened to the saddle instead of round the man's body. This 
mode of wearing the sword was for some time strenuously opposed 
in this country, but its utility could not fail to be recognized, and in 
1891 an order was issued sanctioning its adoption by all mounted troops. 


Directly we had got clear of the village the Cavalry 
reformed, and retired slowly by alternate squadrons, in a 
manner which excited my highest admiration, and reflected 
the greatest credit on the soldierly qualities of Stewart- 
Mackenzie and Neville. From Bhagwana, Deh-i-Mazang 
was three miles distant, and it was of vital importance to 
keep the enemy back in order to give the Highlanders from 
Sherpur time to reach the gorge. 

For a time the Afghans continued to press on as before, 
but after a while their advance gradually became slower 
and their numbers somewhat decreased. This change in 
Mahomed Jan's tactics, it afterwards turned out, was 
caused by Macpherson's advance guard coming into colli- 
sion with the rear portion of his army ; it was of the 
greatest advantage to us, as it enabled the 72nd to arrive 
in time to bar the enemy's passage through the gorge. 
My relief was great when I beheld them, headed by their 
eager Commander, Brownlow, doubling through the gap 
and occupying the village of Deh-i-Mazang and the heights 
on either side. The Cavalry greeted them with hearty 
cheers, and the volleys delivered by the Highlanders from 
the roofs of the houses in the village soon checked the 
Afghans, some of whom turned back, while others made 
for Indiki and the slopes of the Takht-i-Shah. For a time, 
at any rate, their hopes of getting possession of Kabul had 
been frustrated. 

It will be remembered that the orders I sent to Macpher- 
son on the 10th were that he was to march very early the 
next morning, as Massy with the Horse Artillery and 
Cavalry would leave Aushar at 9 a.m., and that he must 
join him on the Arghandeh road. Macpherson did not 


make so early a start as I had intended ; from one cause or 
another, he said, he was not able to leave Karez-i-Mir before 
eight o'clock. On reaching the Surkh Kotal he observed 
dense bodies of the enemy hurrying from the Paghman 
and Arghandeh directions towards Kila Kazi, and he 
pushed on, hoping to be able to deal with them individually 
before they had time to concentrate. For the first three 
miles from the foot of the pass the view was obstructed by 
a range of hills, and nothing could be seen of the Horse 
Artillery and Cavalry ; but soon after 10 a.m. the booming 
of guns warned Macpherson that fighting was going on, 
but he could not tell whether it was Baker's or Massy's 
troops which were engaged. He was, however, not left 
long in doubt, for Lieutenant Neville Chamberlain, attached 
to Macpherson as political officer, and who had gone on 
with his advance guard, sent back word that he could 
distinguish British Cavalry charging the Afghans, and as 
Baker had only Native Cavalry with him, Macpherson 
knew at once that the action was being fought by Massy. 
Suddenly the firing ceased, and he was informed that the 
enemy were advancing on Kabul, and that their vanguard 
had already reached the belt of orchards and enclosures, 
on the further fringe of which the smoke from our guns 
and the charge of our Cavalry had been seen. 

Macpherson, feeling that something serious had occurred, 
called on his men to make a further effort. At 12.30 p.m., 
less than an hour after we had begun to retire, he reached 
the ground where the fight had taken place. The dead 
bodies of our officers and men, stripped and horribly 
mutilated, proved how fierce had been the struggle, and 
the dropping shots which came from the fortified villages 


in the neighbourhood and from the ravines, warned the 
Brigadier-General that some of the enemy were still in the 
neighbourhood. But these men, so bold in the confidence 
of overwhelming numbers when attacking Massy's Cavalry, 
were not prepared to withstand Macpherson's Infantry ; 
after a brief resistance they broke and fled in confusion, 
some to Indiki, but the greater number to the shelter of the 
hills south of Kila Kazi, to which place Macpherson followed 
them, intending to halt there for the night. This I did not 
allow him to do, for, seeing the heavy odds we had opposed 
to us, and that the enemy were already in possession of the 
Takht-i-Shah, thus being in a position to threaten the Bala 
Hissar, I sent orders to him to fall back upon Deh-i- 
Mazang, where he arrived about 7 p.m. 

Meanwhile, Macpherson's baggage, with a guard of the 
5th Gurkhas, commanded by Major Cook, V.C., was 
attacked by some Afghans, who had remained concealed 
in the Paghman villages, and it would probably have 
fallen into their hands, as the Gurkhas were enormously 
outnumbered, but for the timely arrival of four companies 
of the 3rd Sikhs, under Major Griffiths, who had been left 
by Macpherson to see everything safely down the pass. 
Cook himself was knocked over and stunned by a blow, while 
his brother in the 3rd Sikhs received a severe bullet-wound 
close to his heart. :i | . 

During the retirement from Bhagwana, Macgregor, my 
Chief of the Staff, Durand, Badcock, and one or two other 
staff officers, got separated from me and were presently 
overtaken by an officer (Captain Gerald Martin), sent 
by Macpherson to tell Massy he was coming to his 
assistance as fast as his Infantry could travel ; Martin 

From a drawing 
C.H Manners Sm 
Lieut, D.A.Q.M.G 





informed Macgregor that as he rode by Bhagwana he 
had come across our abandoned guns, and that there was 
no enemy anywhere near them. On hearing this, Macgregor 
retraced his steps, and, assisted by the staff officers with 
him and a few Horse Artillerymen and Lancers, and some 
Gurkhas of Macpherson's baggage guard picked up on the 
way, he managed to rescue the guns and bring them into 
Sherpur that night. They had been stripped of all their 
movable parts, and the ammunition-boxes had been emptied ; 
otherwise they were intact, and were fit for use the next day. 

I found assembled at Deh-i-Mazang Wali Mahomed and 
other Sirdars, who had been watching with considerable 
anxiety the issue of the fight, for they knew if the Afghans 
succeeded in their endeavours to enter Kabul, all property 
belonging to people supposed to be friendly to us would be 
plundered and their houses destroyed. I severely upbraided 
these men for having misled me as to the strength and 
movements of Mahomed Jan's army, and with having 
failed to fulfil their engagement to keep me in communi- 
cation with Baker. They declared they had been misin- 
formed themselves, and were powerless in the matter. 
It was difficult to believe that this was the case, and I was 
unwillingly forced to the conclusion that not a single 
Afghan could be trusted, however profuse he might be in 
his assurances of fidelity, and that we must depend entirely 
on our own resources for intelligence. 

I waited at Deh-i-Mazang until Macpherson arrived, and 
thus did not get back to Sherpur till after dark. I was 
gratified on my arrival there to find that Hugh Gough had 
made every arrangement that could be desired for the 
defence of the cantonment, and that by his own cool and 


confident bearing he had kept the troops calm and steady, 
notwithstanding the untoward appearance of some fugitives 
from the field of battle, whose only too evident state of 
alarm might otherwise have caused a panic. 

For the safety of Sherpur I never for one moment had 
the smallest apprehension during that eventful day. It was, 
I believe, thought by some that if Mahomed Jan, instead 
of trying for the city, had made for the cantonment, it 
would have fallen into his hands ; but they were altogether 
wrong, for there were a sufficient number of men within the 
walls to have prevented such a catastrophe had Mahomed 
Jan been in a position to make an attack ; but this, with 
Macpherson's brigade immediately in his rear, he could 
never have dreamt of attempting. 

The city of Kabul remained perfectly quiet while all the 
excitement I have described was going on outside. Hills, 
with a few Sikhs, patrolled the principal streets, and even 
when the Afghan standard appeared on the Takht-i-Shah 
there was no sign of disturbance. Nevertheless, I thought 
it would be wise to withdraw from the city ; I could not tell 
how long the people would remain well disposed, or whether 
they would assist us to keep the enemy out. I therefore 
directed Hills to come away and make over his charge to 
an influential Kizilbash named Futteh Khan. I also 
telegraphed to General Bright at Jalalabad to reinforce 
Gandamak by a sufficient number of troops to hold that 
post in case it should be necessary to order Brigadier- 
General Charles Gough, who was then occupying it, to 
move his brigade nearer to Kabul ; for I felt sure that, 
unless I could succeed in driving Mahomed Jan out of the 
neighbourhood of Kabul, excitement would certainly spread 


along my line of communication. I concluded my message 
to Bright thus : ' If the wire should be cut, consider it a 
bad sign, and push on to Gandamak, sending Gough's 
brigade towards Kabul.' 

I could not help feeling somewhat depressed at the turn 
things had taken. I had no news from Baker, and we had 
undoubtedly suffered a reverse, which I knew only too well 
would give confidence to the Afghans, who, from the footing 
they had now gained on the heights above Kabul, threat- 
ened the Bala Hissar, which place, stored as it was with 
powder and other material of war, I had found it necessary 
to continue to occupy. Nevertheless, reviewing the incidents 
of the 11th December, as I have frequently done since, with 
all the concomitant circumstances deeply impressed on my 
memory, I have failed to discover that any disposition of 
my force different from that I made could have had better 
results, or that what did occur could have been averted by 
greater forethought or more careful calculation on my 
part. Two deviations from my programme (which probably 
at the time appeared unimportant to the Commanders in 
question) were the principal factors in bringing about the 
unfortunate occurrences of that day. Had Macpherson 
marched at 7 a.m. instead of 8, and had Massy followed 
the route I had arranged for him to take, Mahomed Jan 
must have fallen into the trap I had prepared for him. 

Our casualties on the 11th were — killed, 4 British 
officers, 16 British and 9 Native rank and file ; wounded, 
4 British officers, 1 Native officer, 20 British and 10 Native 
rank and file. 

[ 282 ] 


On the morning of the 12th I was cheered by hearing 
that the Guides had arrived during the night under the 
command of Colonel F. Jenkins — a most welcome rein- 
forcement, for I knew how thoroughly to be depended 
upon was every man in that distinguished corps. 

The first thing now to be done was to endeavour to 
drive the Afghans from the crest of the Takht-i-Shah ; and 
I directed Macpherson, as soon as his men had breakfasted, 
to attack the position from Deh-i-Mazang. Just then my 
mind was considerably relieved by a heliogram from Baker 
informing me that he was on his way back to Kabul. The 
message was despatched from near Kila Kazi, within four 
miles of which place Baker had encamped on the afternoon 
of the previous day. 

Macpherson deputed the task of trying to dislodge the 
enemy to Lieutenant- Colonel Money, of the 3rd Sikhs, with 
a detachment consisting of 2 Mountain guns and 560 
British and Native Infantry. 

It was a most formidable position to attack. The slopes 
leading up to it were covered with huge masses of jagged 
rock, intersected by perpendicular cliffs, and its natural 


great strength was increased by breastworks, and stockades 
thrown up at different points. 

After a gallant and persistent attempt had been made, 
I ordered the assault to be deferred ; for I perceived that 
the enemy were being reinforced from their rear, and to 
ensure success without great loss, it would be necessary to 
attack them in rear as well as in the front. The arrival 
of Baker's brigade made it possible to do this. I there- 
fore ordered Macpherson to hold the ground of which he 
had gained possession until Baker could co-operate with 
him next morning from the Beni Hissar side. 

During the night Mahomed Jan, who had been joined by 
several thousands from Logar and Wardak, occupied the 
villages situated between Beni Hissar and the Bala Hissar 
and along the sang-i-nmvishta road. Baker, who started 
at 8 a.m. on the 13th,* had, therefore, in the first place, to 
gain the high ground above these villages, and, while 
holding the point over-looking Beni Hissar, to wheel to his 
right and move towards the Takht-i-Shah. 

When he had proceeded some little distance, his advance 
guard reported that large bodies of the enemy were moving 
up the slope of the ridge from the villages near Beni Hissar. 
To check this movement, and prevent the already very 
difficult Afghan position being still further strengthened, 
Major White, who was in command of the leading portion 
of the attacking party, turned and made for the nearest 
point on the ridge. It was now a race between the High- 

* His force consisted of 4 guns, Field Artillery ; 4 Mountain guns ; 
1 squadron 9th Lancers ; 5th Punjab Cavalry ; 6 companies 92nd 
Highlanders ; 7 companies Guides ; and 300 3rd Sikhs ; and sub- 
sequently it was strengthened by 150 of the 5th Punjab Infantry. 


landers and the Afghans as to who should gain the crest of 
the ridge first. The Artillery came into action at a range 
of 1,200 yards, and under cover of their fire the 92nd, 
supported by the Guides, rushed up the steep slopes. 
They were met by a furious onslaught, and a desperate 
conflict took place. The leading officer, Lieutenant 
Forbes, a lad of great promise, was killed, and Colour- 
Sergeant Drummond fell by his side. For a moment even 
the brave Highlanders were staggered by the numbers and 
fury of their antagonists, but only for a moment. Lieu- 
tenant Dick Cunyngham* sprang forward to cheer them 
on, and confidence was restored. With a wild shout the 
Highlanders threw themselves on the Afghans, and quickly 
succeeded in driving them down the further side of the 

By this successful movement the enemy's line was cut 
in two, and while the Cavalry and a party of the 3rd Sikhs 
prevented their rallying in the direction of Beni Hissar, 
the 92nd and Guides, protected by the Mountain guns, 
which had been got on to the ridge, and the Field 
Artillery from below, advanced towards the Takht-i-Shah. 
The Afghans disputed every inch of the way, but by 
11.30 a.m. White's men had reached the foot of the 
craggy eminence which formed the enemy's main position. 
They were here joined by some of the 72nd Highlanders, 
3rd Sikhs, and 5th Gurkhas, under the command of 
Lieutenant -Colonel Money, who had fought their way 
from the upper Bala Hissar. 

A brilliant charge by the combined troops now took 

* Dick Cunyngham received the Victoria Cross for conspicuous 
gallantry and coolness on this occasion. 


place, the two Highland corps vying with each other for 
the honour of reaching the summit first. It fell to the 
72nd, Colour- Sergeant Yule* of that regiment being the 
foremost man on the top. The enemy made a most deter- 
mined stand, and it was only after a severe struggle and 
heavy loss that they were driven off the heights. 

From my position at Sherpur I had the satisfaction of 
witnessing this success. This satisfaction, however, was 
short-lived, for almost immediately I received a report from 
the city that the inhabitants had joined the tribesmen, and 
that the cantonment was being threatened ; indeed, I could 
see large bodies of armed men emerging from the city and 
moving towards Siah Sang, whence the road between the 
Bala Hissar and Sherpur would be commanded. 

Having only too evidently lost control over the city, the 
value of Deh-i-Mazang was gone, so I ordered Macpherson to 
abandon it and move to the Shahr-i-Darwaza heights, taking 
with him six companies of the 67th Foot for the protection 
of the Bala Hissar, to which it was desirable to hold on as 
long as possible. The remainder of his troops I ordered to 
be sent to Sherpur. To Baker I signalled to leave a party 
on the Takht-i-Shah under Lieutenant-Colonel Money, and 
to move himself towards the cantonment with the rest of 
his troops, driving the enemy off the Siah Sang on the way. 

But from his point of vantage on the heights Baker could 
see, what I could not, that the Afghans had occupied two 
strongly fortified villages between Siah Sang and the Bala 
Hissar, from which it was necessary to dislodge them 
in the first instance, and for this service he detached the 

* This gallant non-commissioned officer was killed the following 


5th Punjab Infantry and a battery of Artillery. It was 
carried out in a masterly manner by Major Pratt, who 
soon gained possession of one village. The other, however, 
was resolutely held, and the Artillery failing to effect a 
breach, the gates were set on fire ; but even then a satis- 
factory opening was not made, and the place was eventually 
captured by means of scaling-ladders hastily made of poles 
tied together with the Native soldiers' turbans. 

Baker was now able to turn his attention to Siah Sang, 
so I despatched the Cavalry under Massy, to act with him 
when a signal success was achieved. The enemy fought 
stubbornly, but were at last driven off. The 5th Punjab 
Cavalry, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Williams and Major 
Hammond, greatly distinguished themselves, and a grand 
charge was made by the Guides and 9th Lancers, in which 
Captain Butson, of the latter regiment, was killed, also the 
troop Sergeant-Major and 3 men ; and Captain Chisholme,* 
Lieutenant Trower, and 8 men were wounded. 

This ended the operations on the 13th. Our losses 
during the day were : killed, 2 British officers and 12 men ; 
wounded, 2 British officers and 43 men, British and Native. 

I was in great hopes that our successes and the heavy 
losses the enemy had sustained would result in the break- 
ing up of the combination against us ; but in case these 
hopes should not be realized, I decided to do away with 
some of the smaller posts on the line of communication, 
and order up more troops. Accordingly, I telegraphed to 
General Bright to send on Charles Gough's brigade, and I 

* Notwithstanding that his wound was most severe, Captain 
Chisholme remained in the saddle, and brought the regiment out of 


directed the detachment at Butkhak to return to Kabul, 
and that at Seh Baba to fall back on Lataband. Having 
great confidence in its Commander, Colonel Hudson, I 
determined to hold on to Lataband for a time, though by so 
doing the numbers I might otherwise have had at Sherpur 
were considerably diminished. Lataband was the most im- 
portant link in the chain of communication between Kabul 
and Jalalabad ; it was in direct heliographic connexion 
with Kabul; it had sufficient ammunition and supplies 
to last over the date on which Gough should arrive at 
Sherpur, and its being held would be a check on the 
Ghilzais, and prevent his encountering any serious oppo- 
sition. At the same time, I could not disguise from my- 
self that there was a certain amount of risk attached to 
leaving so small a garrison in this somewhat isolated 

The night of the 13th passed quietly, but when day 
dawned on the 14th crowds of armed men, with numerous 
standards, could be seen occupying a hill on the Kohistan 
road ; and as day advanced they proceeded in vast numbers 
to the Asmai heights, where they were joined by swarms 
from the city and the Chardeh valley. It then became 
apparent that the combination was much more formidable 
than I had imagined, and that the numbers of the enemy 
now in opposition to us were far greater than I had dreamt 
was possible. Foiled in their attempt to close in upon us 
from the south and west, the tribesmen had concentrated to 
the north, and it was evident they were preparing to deliver 
an attack in great strength from that quarter. I quickly 
decided to drive the enemy off the Asmai heights, to cut 
their communication with Kohistan, and to operate towards 


the north, much as I had operated the previous day to the 
south of Sherpur. 

At 9 a.m. I despatched Brigadier-General Baker to the 
eastern slope of the Asmai range with the following troops : 
4 guns, Field Artillery ; 4 guns, Mountain Artillery ; 14th 
Bengal Lancers ; 72nd Highlanders (192 rifles) ; 92nd 
Highlanders (100 rifles) ; Guides Infantry (460 rifles) ; and 
5th Punjab Infantry (470 rifles). 

Covered by the fire of his Artillery, Baker seized the 
conical hill which formed the northern boundary of the 
Aliabad Kotal, thus placing himself on the enemy's line of 
communication, and preventing them from being reinforced. 
He then proceeded to attack the Asmai heights, leaving 
2 Mountain guns, 64 men of the 72nd, and 60 Guides, under 
the command of Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Clarke, to hold 
the hill. 

To aid Baker in his difficult task, I brought four guns 
into action near the north-west corner of the cantonment, 
and I signalled to Macpherson to give him every possible 
assistance. Macpherson at once sent the 67th across the 
Kabul river to threaten the enemy's left rear ; while the 
marksmen of the regiment and the Mountain guns opened 
fire from the northern slope of the Bala Hissar heights. 

The enemy fought with the greatest obstinacy, but 
eventually our troops reached the top of the hill, where, on 
the highest point, a number of ghazis had taken their stand, 
determined to sell their lives dearly. 

All this I eagerly watched from my place of observation. 
There was a fierce struggle, and then, to my intense 
relief, I saw our men on the topmost pinnacle, and I knew 
the position was gained. 


It was now a little past noon, and I was becoming 
anxious about the party left on the conical hill, as Mac- 
pherson had heliographed that very large bodies of 
Afghans were moving northwards from Indiki, with the 
intention, apparently, of effecting a junction with the 
tribesmen who were occupying the hills in the Kohistan 
direction. I therefore signalled to Baker to leave the 67th 
in charge of the Asmai heights, and himself return to the 
lower ridge, giving him my reasons. 

Baker at once despatched a detachment of the 5th 
Punjab Infantry, under Captain Hall, to reinforce Clarke, 
who I could see might soon be hard pressed, and I sent 
200 rifles of the 3rd Sikhs (the only troops available at the 
moment) to his assistance. 

I watched what was taking place on the conical hill 
through my telescope, and was startled to perceive that the 
enemy were, unnoticed by him, creeping close up to Clarke's 
position. I could just see a long Afghan knife appear above 
the ridge, steadily mounting higher and higher, the bearer 
of which was being concealed by the contour of the hill, and 
I knew that it was only one of the many weapons which were • 
being carried by our enemies to the attack. The reinforce- 
ments were still some distance off, and my heart sank within 
me, for I felt convinced that after our recent victories the 
Afghans would never venture to cross the open and attack 
British soldiers unless an overwhelming superiority of 
numbers made success appear to them a certainty. Next I 
heard the boom of guns and the rattle of musketry, and a 
minute or two later (which, in my anxiety, seemed an 
eternity to me), I only too plainly saw our men retreat- 
ing down the hill, closely followed by the enemy. The 

vol. 11. 51 


retirement was being conducted steadily and slowly, but 
from that moment I realized, what is hard for a British 
soldier, how much harder for a British commander, to 
realize, that we were over-matched, and that we could not 
hold our ground. 

Clarke,* as well as every man with him, fought splendidly; 
the Afghans by force of numbers alone made themselves 
masters of the position and captured two guns.t 

While all that I have described was going on, the enemy 
began to collect again on Siah Sang, and to make their 
way round the eastern flank of the cantonment towards 

I had sent orders in the morning to Lieutenant-Colonel 
Williams, who was quartered with his regiment (the 5th 
Punjab Cavalry) in the King's Garden, between Sherpur 
and the city, to be on the look-out, and not to allow any of 
the enemy to pass in that direction. About 1 p.m. some 
400 Afghans were observed moving along the left bank of 
the river : these were met by Captain Vousden of the same 

* Clarke never recovered the loss of this post. He and I had been 
cadets together at Sandhurst, and I often visited him while he was in 
hospital at Sherpur. He was apparently suffering from no disease, 
but gradually faded away, and died not long after he reached India. 

f General Baker, in his despatch, stated that ' No blame for the loss 
of these guns is in any way to be attached to the officers and men of 
No. 2 Mountain Battery. . . . Every credit is due to Captain 
Swinley, the late Lieutenant Montanaro, and Lieutenant Liddell, and 
the several Native officers, non-commissioned officers and men com- 
posing the gun detachments, for the gallant manner in which they 
stood to their guns to the last, and it was only on the sudden rush of 
this overwhelming force of the enemy that they had to retire with the 
loss of two guns.' 

Of the men composing the gun detachments, one was killed and 
six wounded, and Surgeon-Major Joshua Duke was specially men- 
tioned for his attention to the wounded under heavy fire. 


regiment, who with one troop was employed in recon- 
noitring : he most gallantly charged in amongst them with 
only twelve of his men, the remainder being effectually 
stopped by a heavy fire opened upon them from behind a 
low wall. Vousden succeeded in dispersing these heavy 
odds, and in inflicting severe loss upon them — a very 
brilliant service, for which he received the Victoria Cross. 

My object throughout these operations had been, as I 
hope I have made clear, to break up the combination 
by dealing with the enemy in detail, and preventing them 
getting possession of the city and the Bala Hissar. 

Up till noon on the 14th I had no idea of the extra- 
ordinary numbers they were able to bring together, and I 
had no reason to believe that it would be possible for 
them to cope with disciplined troops ; but the manner in 
which the conical hill had been retaken gave me a more 
correct idea of their strength and determination, and shook 
my confidence in the ability of my comparatively small 
force to resist the ever - increasing hordes, on ground 
which gave every advantage to numerical superiority. It 
was a bitter thought that it might be my duty to retire 
for a time within the defences of Sherpur, a measure which 
would involve the abandonment of the city and the Bala 
Hissar, and which I knew, moreover, would give heart to 
the tribesmen. 

I had to decide at once on the course I ought to pursue, 
for, if I continued to act on the defensive, food and ammu- 
nition must be sent before dark to Macpherson's brigade 
occupying the hills above the city, and arrangements must 
be made for Baker's retention of the Asmai heights. I 
heliographed to Macpherson to inquire the direction in 


which the enemy were moving, and whether their numbers 
were still increasing. He replied that large masses were 
steadily advancing from north, south, and west, and that 
their numbers were momentarily becoming greater, to 
which the young officer in charge of the signalling station 
added, ' The crowds of Afghans in the Chardeh valley 
remind me of Epsom on the Derby day.' 

This decided me; I determined to withdraw from all 
isolated positions, and concentrate my force at Sherpur, 
thereby securing the safety of the cantonment and avoiding 
what had now become a useless sacrifice of life. I only too 
thoroughly recognized the evils of the measure, but I con- 
sidered that no other course would be justifiable, and that 
I must act for the present entirely on the defensive, and 
wait until the growing confidence of the enemy should 
afford me a favourable opportunity for attacking them, or 
until reinforcements could arrive. 

The inevitable order reached the two Generals at 2 p.m., 
and the retirement was begun at once. The Afghans 
speedily discovered the retrograde movement, and no sooner 
had each post in its turn been evacuated than it was 
occupied by the enemy, who pressed our troops the whole 
way back to the cantonment. There was hand-to-hand 
fighting, and many splendid acts of courage were performed, 
Major Hammond, of the Guides, earning the Victoria Cross ; 
but throughout there was no hurry or confusion, all was 
conducted with admirable coolness and skill, and shortly 
after dark the troops and baggage were safe inside Sherpur. 
That night the Afghans occupied the city and the Bala 


It is comparatively easy for a small body of well-trained 
soldiers, such as those of which the army in India is com- 
posed, to act on the offensive against Asiatics, however 
powerful they may be in point of numbers. There is some- 
thing in the determined advance of a compact, disciplined 
body of troops which they can seldom resist. But a retire- 
ment is a different matter. They become full of confidence 
and valour the moment they see any signs of their opponents 
being unable to resist them, and if there is the smallest 
symptom of unsteadiness, wavering, or confusion, a disaster 
is certain to occur. It may be imagined, therefore, with 
what intense anxiety I watched for hours the withdrawal. 
The ground was all in favour of the Afghans, who, un- 
impeded by impedimenta of any kind, swarmed down upon 
the mere handful of men retreating before them, shouting 
cries of victory and brandishing their long knives ; but our 
brave men, inspired by the undaunted bearing of their 
officers, were absolutely steady. They took up position 
after position with perfect coolness ; every movement was 
carried out with as much precision as if they were 
manoeuvring on an ordinary field-day ; and the killed and 
wounded were brought away without the slightest hurry 
or confusion. In fact, the whole of the hazardous 
operation was most successfully and admirably carried 
out ; and as each regiment and detachment filed through 
the Head-Quarters gateway I was able to offer my warm 
congratulations and heartfelt thanks to my gallant 

Our losses during the day were : 19 killed, including 
Captain Spens and Lieutenant Gaisford, 72nd Highlanders, 


and 88 wounded, amongst whom were Captain Gordon, 
92nd Highlanders, Lieutenant Egerton, 72nd Highlanders, 
and Captain Battye, of the Guides.* 

* The same officer who so gallantly met his death during the recent 
Chitral campaign, while commanding the regiment of which he was so 
justly proud, and in which two brave brothers had been killed before 
him — Quinton at Delhi, and Wigram during the first phase of the 
Afghan war. 

[ 295 ] 


The moment the gates were closed I telegraphed the 
result of the day's operations to the Viceroy and Com- 
mander-in-Chief, for I knew that the enemy's first thought 
would be to stop communication with India by cutting the 
telegraph-wires. I reported that I had ordered Brigadier- 
General Charles Gough's brigade to push on from Gan- 
damak as fast as possible ; and I recommended that 
General Bright should have more troops sent up to him, to 
allow of his keeping open the route to Kabul, and of his 
reinforcing me should I find it impossible to clear the 
country with the force at my disposal. It was a satisfac- 
tion to be able to assure the authorities in these, to me, 
otherwise painful telegrams, that there was no cause for 
anxiety as to the safety of the troops ; that sufficient 
supplies for men were stored in Sherpur for nearly four 
months, and for animals for six weeks ; that there was 
abundance of firewood, medicines, and hospital comforts, 
and sufficient ammunition both for guns and rifles to admit 
of an active resistance being carried on for between three 
and four months. 

It was fortunate there was no lack of provisions, for our 
numbers were considerably increased by the presence of 


Wali Mahomed Khan and many other Sirdars, who begged 
for shelter in Sherpur, on the plea that their lives would not 
be safe were they to return to the city. They were far from 
being welcome guests, for I could not trust them ; ostensibly, 
however, they were our friends, and I could not refuse 
their petition. I therefore admitted them, on condition 
that each Sirdar should only be accompanied by a specified 
number of followers. 

The stormy occurrences of the 14th were succeeded by a 
period of comparative calm, during which the entrench- 
ments were strengthened, and the heavy guns found in the 
Kabul arsenal were prepared for service. 

The great drawback to Sherpur, as I have already men- 
tioned, was its extent and the impossibility of reducing the 
line of defences owing to the length of the Bimaru ridge. 
The cantonment was in the form of a parallelogram, with 
the Bimaru heights running along, and protecting, the 
northern side. Between this range and the hills, which 
form the southern boundary of Kohistan, lay a lake, or 
rather jhil, a barrier between which and the commanding 
Bimaru ridge no enemy would dare to advance. 

The massive wall on the south and west faces was twenty 
feet high, covered at a distance of thirty feet by a lower 
wall fifteen feet high ; the southern wall was pierced at 
intervals of about 700 yards by gateways, three in number, 
protected by lofty circular bastions, and between these and 
at the four corners were a series of low bastions which 
gave an admirable flanking fire. The wall on the western 
flank was of similar construction, but had been consider- 
ably damaged at the northern end, evidently by an ex- 
plosion of gunpowder. 

1879] SHERPUR 297 

The weak part of our defence was on the eastern face, 
where the wall, which had never been completed, was only 
seven feet high, and did not extend for more than 700 
yards from the south-east corner ; the line then ran to the 
north-west, and, skirting the village of Bimaru, ended at the 
foot of the ridge. 

From this description it will be seen that, though the 
perimeter* of Sherpur was rather too large for a force of 
7,000 effective men to defend, its powers of resistance, both 
natural and artificial, were considerable. It was absolutely 
necessary to hold the Bimaru ridge for its entire length ; 
to have given up any part of it would have been to repeat 
the mistake which proved so disastrous to Elphinstone's 
army in 1841. In fact, the Bimaru heights were at once 
the strength and the weakness of the position. So long 
as we could hold the heights we were safe from attack 
from the north ; but if we had been forced, either from 
the weakness of our own garrison, or from any other cause, 
to relinquish the command of this natural barrier, the 
whole of the cantonment must have lain open to the 
enemy, and must forthwith have become untenable. 

The question of how Sherpur could best be defended had 
been carefully considered by a committee,! assembled by 
my orders soon after our arrival in Kabul ; and a scheme 
had been drawn up detailing the measures which should 
be adopted in case of attack. 

On the recommendation of this committee six towers had 
been constructed on the Bimaru heights, and shelter 

* Four and a half miles. 

t The committee consisted of Brigadier-General T. D. Baker, 
Lieutenant-Colonel M. Perkins, commanding Royal Engineers, and 
Lieutenant- Colonel B. Gordon, commanding Royal Artillery. 


trenches and gunpits made at the points where Infantry 
and Artillery fire could be used with the greatest advantage. 
These trenches were now deepened and prolonged, so as to 
form one continuous line of defence, protected by an abattis ; 
and the defences in the depression between the heights were 
so arranged that fire could be brought to bear on an enemy 
advancing from the north. To strengthen the north-east 
corner, a battery was thrown up on the slope of the ridge, 
which was connected with the tower above and the village 
below. The village itself was loop-holed, the outlying 
buildings to the front made defensible, and the open space 
to the north-east secured by abattis and wire entangle- 
ments. The Native Field Hospital was strengthened in 
like manner, and sand-bag parapets were piled upon the 
roof, which was somewhat exposed. 

The unfinished wall on the eastern face was raised by 
logs of wood, and abattis and wire entanglements were 
placed in front. In the open space lying between the 
Bimaru ridge and the north-west circular bastion, a defence 
on the laager system was constructed out of gun-carriages 
and limbers captured from the enemy ; while the village of 
Ghulam Hasan Khan, which formed an excellent flanking 
defence along the northern and western faces, was held 
as an independent post. 

I divided the whole of the defences into five sections, 
under the superintendence of five different commanders : 
Brigadier- General Macpherson, Colonel Jenkins, Brigadier- 
General Hugh Gough, Major-General Hills, and Colonel 
Brownlow. Brigadier-General Massy was given the centre 
of the cantonment, where were collected the forage and fire- 
wood ; and Brigadier-General Baker commanded the reserve, 


which was formed up at the depression in the Bimaru heights 
mentioned above, that he might be able to move rapidly to 
either end of the ridge, the weakest points in our defences. 

The several sections were connected with each other and 
with my Head-Quarters by a telegraph-wire, and visual 
signalling was established at all important points. 

In my arrangements for the defence of Sherpur I relied 
to a great extent on the advice of my accomplished Chief 
Engineer, Colonel .Eneas Perkins, and it was mainly owing 
to him, and to the exertions of his competent staff, that the 
work was carried on as rapidly and satisfactorily as it was. 

During these days of preparation the enemy remained 
comparatively inactive, being chiefly employed in looting 
the city and emptying the Amir's arsenal. The gun- 
powder had been destroyed as far as possible ; but a great 
deal still remained, and many tons of it were carried off by 
the army of Mahomed Jan, who had now become the 
practical leader of the Afghan combination, and had lately 
proclaimed Yakub Khan's eldest son, Musa Khan, Amir. 

On the afternoon of the 16th I received the welcome 
news that Colonel Hudson had successfully resisted an 
attack on his position by the Ghilzais — welcome because 
I could now feel assured that Lataband could be depended 
upon to hold its own. 

For the next five days nothing of much importance was 
done on either side. The enemy took up positions daily 
in the neighbouring forts and gardens, causing a few 
casualties, and some of our troops moved out to dislodge 
them from those places from which they could specially 
annoy us. I destroyed some of the forts, and removed 
other cover in the immediate vicinity of the walls ; but I 


did not undertake any large sorties, for to have attempted to 
drive the enemy out of the outlying posts, which I could not 
then have held, would have been a useless waste of strength. 
My chief trouble at this time was the presence of the 
Afghan Sirdars within the cantonment. I had good reason 
to believe that some of them, though full of protestations 
of friendship, had been in communication with Mahomed 
Jan, the high-priest Mushk-i-Alam, and other Afghan 
leaders, so that I felt sure that neither they nor their 
followers were to be depended upon. I was also some- 
what anxious about the Pathan soldiers in our ranks, a 
feeling which I was unwilling to acknowledge even to 
myself, for they had hitherto behaved with marked loyalty, 
and done splendid service ; but they were now being ex- 
posed to a most severe trial, in that they were, as I knew, 
being constantly appealed to by their co-religionists to join 
in the jahad against us, and bitterly reproached for serving 
their infidel masters. Whether they would be strong 
enough to resist such appeals, it was impossible to tell ; but 
it would have been most unwise, as well as most painful to 
me, to show the slightest suspicion of these fine soldiers. 
It happened that the Corps of Guides and 5th Punjab 
Infantry, which had of all regiments the largest number of 
Mahomedans amongst them, were located at the two ex- 
tremities of the Bimaru range, the points most likely to be 
attacked ; to have made any change in the disposition 
would have been to show that they were suspected, so I 
determined (after taking their commanding officers, Colonels 
Jenkins and McQueen, into my confidence) to leave them 
where they were, and merely to strengthen each post by a 
couple of companies of Highlanders. 


I was also considerably exercised about the safety of the 
large stacks of firewood, grain, and forage, for if anything 
had happened to them we could not have continued to hold 
Sherpur. There were not enough British soldiers to furnish 
guards for these stacks, so I was obliged to have them 
watched for a time by officers ; an opportune fall of 
snow, however, on the night of the 18th, rendered in- 
cendiarism impossible. 

One other extremely unpleasant precaution I felt it my 
duty to take was the placing of Daud Shah, Yakub Khan's 
Commander-in-Chief, under arrest. I liked the man, and 
he had mixed freely with us all for more than two 
months. He was not, however, absolutely above suspicion : 
some of his near relatives were the most prominent amongst 
our enemies ; and I had been struck by a change in his 
manner towards me of late. In trusting him to the extent 
I had done, I acted against the opinion of almost everyone 
about me, and now that I had a doubt myself, I felt I was 
not justified in leaving him at liberty, for if he were disposed 
to make use of his opportunities to our disadvantage, his 
unrestrained freedom of movement and observation would 
be certainly a source of great danger. 

For three or four days cloudy weather prevented helio- 
graph communication with Lataband, and messengers sent 
by Hudson had failed to reach Sherpur, so that we were 
without any news from the outer world ; but on the after- 
noon of the 18th I received a letter from Brigadier-General 
Charles Gough, conveying the disappointing intelligence 
that he had only got as far as Jagdalak, twenty- one miles 
from Gandamak, and that he did not consider himself 
strong enough to advance on Kabul. 


Gough no doubt felt himself in an awkward position. 
The line to his rear was weakly held, the telegraph-wire on 
both sides of him was cut, his rear guard had been attacked 
near Jagdalak, there was a considerable collection of men 
on the hills to his front, and, as he reported, ' the whole 
country was up.' Moreover, Major- General Bright, under 
whom Gough was immediately serving, shared his opinion 
that it would be wiser for him to wait until reinforcements 
came up from the rear. 

Gough, however, had with him 4 Mountain guns and 125 
Artillerymen, 73 Sappers and Miners, 222 Native Cavalry, 
487 British Infantry, and 474 Gurkhas ; in all, 1,381 men, 
besides 36 officers — not a very large force, but composed of 
excellent material, and large enough, I considered, aug- 
mented, as it would be, by the Lataband detachment, to 
move safely on Kabul. I had no hesitation, therefore, in 
sending Gough peremptory orders to advance without 
delay, thus relieving him of all responsibility in the event 
of anything unexpected occurring. 

Hudson, at Lataband, as has already been recorded, was 
only victualled until the 23rd, before which date I had 
calculated that Gough would surely have relieved the 
garrison and brought the troops away. But now all was 
uncertain, and it was incumbent upon me to send them food. 
The difficulty as to how to get supplies to Lataband was 
solved by some Hazaras, who had been working in our 
camp for several weeks, volunteering to convey what was 
necessary, and it was arranged that the provisions should 
be sent with two parties, one on the 19th, the other on the 
20th. The first got through safely, but the second almost 
entirely fell into the hands of the enemy. 


On the 21st a heliogram from Hudson informed me that 
Gough's brigade was expected the next day ; but as it 
had been found necessary to drop his Cavalry at the 
several posts he passed on the way for their better pro- 
tection, I deemed it expedient to send him the 12th Bengal 
Cavalry, for he had to pass through some fairly open 
country near Butkhak, where they might possibly be of 
use to him. Accordingly, they started at 3 a.m. on the 
22nd, with instructions to halt at Butkhak should that 
post be unoccupied, otherwise to push on to Lataband. 

Finding the former place in possession of the Afghans, 
Major Green, who was in command of the regiment, made 
for the further post, where he arrived with the loss of only 
three men killed and three wounded. 

It was not easy to get reliable information as to the 
movements or intentions of the enemy while we were sur- 
rounded in Sherpur ; but from spies who managed to pass 
to and from the city under cover of night, I gathered that 
plans were being made to attack us. 

It was not, however, until the 21st that there were any 
very great signs of activity. On that and the following 
day the several posts to the east of the cantonment were 
occupied preparatory to an attack from that quarter ; and 
I was told that numbers of scaling-ladders were being con- 
structed. This looked like business. Next, information 
was brought in that, in all the mosques, mullas were 
making frantic appeals to the people to unite in one final 
effort to exterminate the infidel ; and that the aged Mushk- 
i-Alam was doing all in his power to fan the flame of 
fanaticism, promising to light with his own hand at dawn 
on the 23rd (the last day of the Moharram, when religious 


exaltation amongst Mahomedans is at its height) the 
beacon-fire which was to be the signal for assault. 

The night of the 22nd was undisturbed, save by the songs 
and cries of the Afghans outside the walls, but just before 
day the flames of the signal-fire, shooting upwards from 
the topmost crag of the Asmai range, were plainly to be 
seen, followed on the instant by a burst of firing. 

Our troops were already under arms and at their posts, 
waiting for the assault, which commenced with heavy firing 
against the eastern and southern faces. The most deter- 
mined attack was directed against the two sections com- 
manded by Brigadier-General Hugh Gough and Colonel 
Jenkins, who by their able dispositions proved themselves 
worthy of the confidence I had reposed in them. 

It was too dark at first to see anything in front of the 
walls, and orders were given to reserve fire until the 
advancing masses of the assailants could be clearly made 
out. Gough's Mountain guns, under Lieutenant Sherries, 
then fired star- shells, which disclosed the attacking force up 
to a thousand yards off. The 28th Punjab Infantry were 
the first to open fire ; then the Guides, the 67th, and 92nd, 
each in their turn, greeted by their volleys the ghazis who 
approached close to the walls. Guns from every battery 
opened on the foe moving forward to the attack, and from 
7 to 10 a.m. the fight was carried on. Eepeated attempts 
were made to scale the south-eastern wall, and many times 
the enemy got up as far as the abattis, but were repulsed, 
heaps of dead marking the spots where these attempts had 
been most persistent.* 

* A curious exemplification of the passive courage and indifference 
to danger of some Natives was the behaviour of an old Mahomedan 


Soon after 10 a.m. there was a slight lull in the fighting, 
leading us to believe that the Afghans were recoiling before 
the breechloaders. An hour later, however, the assault 
grew hot as ever, and finding we could not drive the enemy 
back by any fire which could be brought against them from 
the defences, I resolved to attack them in flank. Accord- 
ingly, I directed Major Craster, with four Field Artillery 
guns, and Lieutenant - Colonel Williams, with the 5th 
Punjab Cavalry, to move out over the hollow in the 
Bimaru range and open fire on a body of the enemy 
collected in and around the village of Kurja Kila. This 
fire had the desired effect ; the Afghans wavered and broke. 

From that moment the attacking force appeared to lose 
heart, the assault was no longer prosecuted with the same 
vigour, and by 1 p.m. it had ceased altogether, and the 
enemy were in full flight. 

This was the Cavalry's opportunity. I ordered Massy 
to follow in pursuit with every available man, and before 
nightfall all the open ground in the neighbourhood of 
Sherpur was cleared of the enemy. Simultaneously with 
the movement of the Cavalry, a party was despatched to 
destroy some villages near the southern wall which had 
caused us much trouble, and whence it was necessary the 
enemy should be driven, to facilitate the entrance of 
Brigadier-General Charles Gough the next day, for that 

servant of mine. At this juncture, just at the time when the fight 
was hottest, and I was receiving reports every few seconds from the 
officers commanding the several posts, Eli Bux (a brother of the man 
who had been with me throughout the Mutiny) whispered in my ear 
that my bath was ready. He was quite unmoved by the din and shots, 
and was carrying on his ordinary duties as if nothing at all unusual 
was occurring. 

vol. 11. 52 


officer had arrived with his brigade within about six 
miles of Sherpur, where I could see his tents, and gathered 
from the fact of his pitching them that he meant to halt 
there for the night. The villages were found to be occupied 
by ghazis, who refused to surrender, preferring to remain 
and perish in the buildings, which were then blown up. 
Two gallant Engineer officers (Captain Dundas, V.C., and 
Lieutenant C. Nugent) were most unfortunately killed in 
carrying out this duty. 

The relief I felt when I had gathered my force inside the 
walls of Sherpur on the evening of the 14th December was 
small compared to that which I experienced on the morn- 
ing of the 24th, when I realized that not only had the 
assault been abandoned, but that the great tribal combina- 
tion had dissolved, and that not a man of the many 
thousands who had been opposed to us the previous day 
remained in any of the villages, or on the surrounding 
hills. It was difficult to form an accurate estimate of the 
numbers opposed to us. As the Contingent from the more 
distant districts advanced, they received accessions from 
every place they passed, and as they neared Kabul they 
were joined by the inhabitants of the numerous villages, 
and by the disaffected in the city. It was calculated by 
those best able to judge that the combined forces exceeded 
100,000, and I myself do not think that an excessive com- 

Our casualties between the 15th and the 23rd were re- 
markably few : 2 officers, 9 men, and 7 followers killed, 
and 5 officers, 41 men, and 22 followers wounded; while 
the enemy lost not less than 3,000. 

I think I had great reason to be proud of my force. All 



night and every night, the ground covered with snow and 
the thermometer marking sixteen degrees of frost, officers 
and men were at their posts, and each day every available 
man had to be hard at work strengthening the defences. 
Native and European soldiers alike bore the hardships and 
exposure with the utmost cheerfulness, and in perfect 
confidence that, when the assault should take place, victory 
would be ours. 

Early on the 24th the fort of Mahomed Sharif was 
occupied, and a force moved out to escort Charles Gough's 
brigade into Sherpur, a precaution which, however, was 
hardly necessary, as there was no enemy to be seen. 

I next set to work to re-open communication with India. 
Butkhak was re-occupied, and the relaying of the telegraph 
was taken in hand. General Hills resumed his position as 
military Governor of Kabul ; the dispensary and hospital 
were re-established in the city under the energetic and 
intelligent guidance of Surgeon-Captain Owen ;* and in the 
hope of reassuring the people, I issued the following 
Proclamation : 

' At the instigation of some seditious men, the ignorant people, 
generally not considering the result, raised a rebellion. Now many of 
the insurgents have received their reward, and as subjects are a trust 
from God, the British Government, which is just and merciful, as well 
as strong, has forgiven their guilt. It is now proclaimed that all who 
come in without delay will be pardoned, excepting only Mahomed Jan 

* This hospital was admirably managed, and was attended by a 
large number of patients, half of whom were women. The disease 
most prevalent in Kabul was ophthalmia, caused by dust, dirt, and ex- 
posure, while cataract and other affections of the eye were very common. 
Dr. Owen, amongst his other many qualifications, excelled as an 
oculist, and his marvellous cures attracted sufferers from all parts of 


of Wardak, Mir Bacha of Kohistan, Samandar Khan of Logar, Ghulam 
Hyder of Chardeh, and the murderers of Sirdar Mahomed Hassan 
Khan. Come and make your submission without fear, of whatsoever 
tribe you may be. You can then remain in your houses in comfort 
and safety, and no harm will befall you. The British Government 
has no enmity towards the people. Anyone who rebels again will, of 
course, be punished. This condition is necessary. But all who come 
in without delay need have no fear or suspicion. The British Govern- 
ment speaks only that which is in its heart.' 

The effect of this Proclamation was most satisfactory : the 
city and the surrounding country quieted rapidly, shops 
were re-opened, and before the close of the year the bazaars 
were as densely thronged as ever. Most of the principal 
men of Logar and Kohistan came to pay their respects to 
me; they were treated with due consideration, and the 
political officers did all they could to find out what they 
really wanted, so that some basis of an arrangement 
for the peaceful administration of the country might be 
arrived at. 

While taking these measures, which I thought would 
create confidence in our clemency and justice, I endeavoured 
in other ways to prevent a repetition of further serious 
troubles. Snow was still deep on the ground, but I did 
not let it prevent my sending General Baker to destroy a 
fort about twenty miles off, where dwelt an influential 
malik, who was one of the chief ringleaders in the revolt. 
All walled enclosures within 1,000 yards of the cantonment 
were razed to the ground, roads fit for guns were made 
all round the outside walls and towards the several gates of 
the city and Siah Sang, while two bridges, strong enough for 
Artillery to pass over, were thrown across the Kabul Eiver. 

The increased numbers to be accommodated on the 
arrival of Gough's brigade necessitated the re-occupation 


of the Bala Hissar, the defences of which were recon- 
structed so as to give a continuous line of fire, and admit 
of free circulation round the walls ; roads were made 
through the lower Bala Hissar, and redoubts and towers 
were built on the Shahr-i-Darwaza range. 

A strong fort — Fort Koberts — was constructed on the 
south-west point of Siah Sang, which commanded the 
Bala Hissar and the city ; a smaller one was built at the 
crossing of the river ; and as these two forts were not within 
sight of each other, a tower to connect them was constructed 
at the north-west extremity of Siah Sang. 

Sherpur was thus made safe ; but for the absolute pro- 
tection of the city against an enemy operating from the 
Chardeh direction, a third fort was erected on the Asmai 
heights, which completed a formidable line of defences 
most skilfully carried out by Colonel Perkins and his staff. 

[ 3io ] 


The outlook in Afghanistan on the 1st January, 1880, was 
fairly satisfactory ; the tidings of the defeat and dispersion 
of the tribesmen had spread far and wide, and had 
apparently had the effect of tranquillizing the country 
even in remote Kandahar, where the people had been 
.greatly excited by the news of our retiring within Sherpur, 
^nd by the exaggerated reports of their countrymen's 
success. No complications now existed anywhere, and pre- 
parations were commenced for Sir Donald Stewart's force 
in southern Afghanistan to move towards Ghazni, in antici- 
pation of the carrying out of a complete and connected 
scheme* for the pacification of the country, and an early 

* In reply to a reference made to me on the subject, I represented 
that, before operations could be undertaken on so extensive a scale as 
was proposed, it would be necessary to reinforce the Kabul garrison and 
the several posts on the Kyber line by : 

One battery of Horse or Field Artillery. 

One Heavy battery. 

One Mountain battery. 

A detachment of Garrison Artillery. 

A brigade of Cavalry. 

Three companies of Sappers and Miners. 

Two regiments of British Infantry. 

Six regiments of Native Infantry. 

Drafts sufficient to raise each Infantry regiment at 
Kabul to 800 men. 


withdrawal from northern Afghanistan. No withdrawal, 
however, would be possible until durable foundations had 
been laid for the future safety of the Indian frontier, 
and reliable guarantees given for the continued good be- 
haviour of India's Afghan neighbours. 

The two questions, therefore, which chiefly exercised the 
minds of people in authority, both in England and in 
India, with regard to Afghan affairs were, What was to 
be done with Afghanistan now we had got it ? and, Who 
could be set up as Euler with any chance of being able to 
hold his own ? 

The second question depended a good deal on the decision 
which might be arrived at with regard to the first, for the 
selection of a Euler could hardly be considered until it had 
been determined whether the several provinces of Afghan- 
istan were to be again formed into one kingdom, or whether 
the political scheme for the future government of the 
country should be based on the separation of the several 

I myself had come to the conclusion, after much de- 
liberation and anxious thought, that the latter course was 
the least dangerous for us to adopt. Disintegration had 
been the normal condition of Afghanistan, except for a 
short period which ended as far back as 1818. Dost 
Mahomed was the first since that time to attempt its unifi- 
cation, and it took him (the strongest Amir of the century) 

This was agreed to ; the reinforcements were sent up by degrees, and 
a second division was formed at Kabul, to the command of which 
Major-General J. Boss, 1 C.B., was appointed. 

1 Now General Sir John Boss, G.C.B. 


eight years after his restoration to establish his supremacy 
over Afghan-Turkestan, fourteen years before Kandahar 
acknowledged his authority, and twenty-one years ere he 
got possession of Herat, a consummation which was 
achieved only just before his death. His successor, Sher 
AH, was five years making himself master of Afghanistan, 
and he could never have attained that position but for the 
material assistance he received from us. I felt it would be 
in the future as it had been in the past, and that there 
would always be the danger of a Kuler, made supreme by 
the aid of our money and our arms, turning against us for 
some supposed grievance, or at the instigation of a foreign 
Power, as had happened with Sher Ali. A strong, united 
Afghanistan was very desirable, no doubt, could we be 
certain that its interests and ours would always remain 
identical ; but, in addition to the chance of its strength 
and unity being used against us, there was the certainty 
that, even if the man we might choose as Amir were to 
remain perfectly loyal, at his death Afghan history would 
repeat itself ; the succession to the throne would be dis- 
puted, and the unification would have to begin all over 
again. For these reasons I had no hesitation in giving it 
as my opinion that Afghanistan should be disintegrated, 
and that we should not again attempt to place the whole 
country under any one Sovereign. 

My views must have commended themselves to the 
Government of India, for in their despatch to the Secretary 
of State, dated 7th January, 1880, they indicated them as 
the line of policy they proposed to adopt in pursuance 
of the object they had at heart, viz., the safety of the 
Indian Empire and the tranquillity of its northern frontier ; 


and in the communication to myself, conveying their idea 
of the general principles upon which the permanent settle- 
ment of Afghanistan should be based, the Foreign Secretary 
wrote that all arrangements for the establishment of a 
durable Government at Kabul depended on the selection 
of a suitable Euler for that province ; and that, as it was 
essential to clear away any apprehension that the British 
Government contemplated territorial annexation, which 
might be caused by a prolonged interregnum, it would 
be very advantageous if one of the principal Sirdars, quali- 
fied by his family connexions, his local influence, and his 
personal following, could be selected as the Euler of the 
Kabul State. 

There was another very strong reason why the Govern- 
ment of India should wish to find some one to whom 
the administration of the country could safely be made 
over. The first warning notes of a General Election were 
heard in India early in January. Afghan affairs were being 
made a party question, and the policy of the Beaconsfield 
Government with regard to them was being severely and 
adversely criticized. Lord Lytton was, therefore, most 
anxious that a definite conclusion should be arrived at as 
to the administration of Afghanistan, and a period put to 
our occupation of the northern province before the meeting 
of Parliament should take place. 

The difficulty was to find the right man. Abdur Eahman, 
who I had reason to believe would be acceptable to the 
army, was far away, I could not find out where, and I 
could think of no one else at all suitable. Under the cir- 
cumstances, I deemed it advisable to open negotiations with 
the several leaders of the late combination against us, who 


were congregated at Ghazni, and had with them the 
young Heir - apparent, Musa Khan. In the middle of 
January I had received two communications from these 
people, one ostensibly written by Musa Khan himself, the 
other signed by seventy of the most influential chiefs ; the 
tenor of both was the same ; they demanded Yakub Khan's 
restoration, and asserted his innocence as to the massacre 
of the Embassy. I replied that Yakub Khan's return was 
impossible, and that they must consider his abdication 
final, as he himself had declared that he wished it to be,* 
and a few days later I deputed the Mustaufit to visit Ghazni, 

* As the deportation of Yakub Khan was believed to be one of the 
chief causes of the recent disturbances, and as a powerful party in the 
country still looked forward to having him back as their Kuler, I was 
directed to make it clear to his adherents that the ex-Amir would 
never be allowed to return to Afghanistan, and that his abdication 
must be, as he himself at the time wished it to be, considered 
irrevocable. In support of this decision, I was informed that the 
unanimous verdict of guilty of murder, recorded against Yakub Khan 
by Colonel Macgregor's Commission, was substantially endorsed by the 
Chief Justice of Calcutta and the Advocate-General ; and that, although 
other authorities who had considered the evidence did not go quite so 
far as these two high legal functionaries, the general conclusion come 
to was that, if the Amir did not connive at the massacre of the Mission, 
he made no attempt whatever to interpose on its behalf, and that 
his whole conduct on that occasion betrayed a culpable indifference to 
the fate of Sir Louis Cavagnari and his companions, and a total dis- 
regard of the solemn obligation which he had contracted with the 
British Government. 

f I had released the Mustaufi from confinement when the general 
amnesty was published on the 26th December, and he had subsequently 
been usefully employed assisting the political officers in revenue 
matters. I did not suppose that he had any great love for the British, 
but he was anxious to see us out of the country, and was wise enough 
to know that no armed opposition could effect his purpose, and that it 
could only be accomplished by the establishment of a stable govern- 
ment, under a Buler that we could accept. 


in the hope that he might be able to induce the leaders to 
make some more feasible suggestion for the government of 
the country. 

The Mustaufi had scarcely started, before what seemed 
to be a reliable report reached me that Abdur Kahman 
was at Kanduz, on his way to Badakhshan, and I im- 
mediately communicated this news to Lord Lytton. 

A fortnight later Abdur Eahman's mother, who resided 
at Kandahar, informed Sir Donald Stewart that Ayub Khan 
had received a letter from her son, in answer to an offer 
from Ayub to join him at Balkh and march with him 
against the British. In this letter Abdur Bahman had 
replied that he would have nothing to do with any of 
Sher Ali's family, who had deceived him and dealt with 
him in the same treacherous manner that characterized 
Sher Ali's dealings with the British ; further, that he had 
no intention of opposing the British, knowing full well he 
was not strong enough to do so ; that he could not leave 
Bussian territory without the permission of the Kussians, 
whose pensioner he was ; and that, even if he got that 
permission, he could not come either into Turkestan or 
Kabul without an invitation from us, but that, if he re- 
ceived such an invitation, he would obey it as an order. 
He concluded by advising Ayub Khan to make his sub- 
mission to the British, as opposition was useless. Sir 
Donald Stewart telegraphed the substance of this com- 
munication to the Foreign Secretary, adding that Abdur 
Eahman's family were well disposed towards us, and that 
there would be no difficulty in communicating with the 
Sirdar through them. 

In the meantime, I had been careful to acquaint the 


Government of India with my failure to come to any con- 
clusion with the Ghazni faction as to the future government 
of the country, and the hopelessness of finding anyone of 
sufficient strength of character to set up as Kuler of Kabul ; 
and I had suggested, failing a really strong man, the alter- 
native of letting the Afghans choose for themselves some 
Kuler, other than Yakub Khan, and thus leave us free to 
evacuate the country. 

About this time Mr. Lyall, the Foreign Secretary, came 
to Kabul on a visit to me, and Captain West Eidgeway* 
took the place of my Political Secretary, Mr. Durand, who 
left me to join the Foreign Office at Simla, Mr. (now Sir) 
Lepel Griffin, Secretary to the Punjab Government, being 
appointed Chief of the political staff at Kabul. 

Lyall told me that the Indian Government fully appre- 
ciated the difficulty I was in about finding a Euler for the 
province, and that, unless Abdur Eahman could be brought 
within negotiable distance, the alternative I had suggested 
would have to be acted upon. 

Lord Lytton, however, was very sanguine about Abdur 
Eahman, and he warned Mr. Griffin, before he started 
for Kabul, that the Sirdar's letter to Ayub Khan indicated 
possibilities that might have the most important bearing on 
the solution of the difficult problem to be dealt with in 
northern Afghanistan. It was Lord Lytton's wish to place 
Abdur Eahman on the throne of Kabul, or, at least, to afford 
him the best opportunity of winning his own way to that 
position. The difficulty was to get at him, in the first 
instance, and, in the second, to convince him of our wish 
and power to help him ; while a not unnatural hesitation on 
* Now Colonel Sir West Eidgeway, K.C.B. 


the Sirdar's part to enter Afghanistan without Eussia's 
permission had to be considered. 

Lord Lytton impressed upon Mr. Griffin the necessity for 
overcoming these difficulties in time to enable us to with- 
draw from northern Afghanistan in the early autumn at 
latest ; and he desired Sir Oliver St. John (Sir Donald 
Stewart's political officer, who was at that time in Calcutta), 
immediately on his return to Kandahar, to communicate 
with Abdur Rahman, through his mother, the Viceroy's 
willingness to make him Ruler of Kabul and Turkestan, 
if he would accept the terms offered to him without delay. 

The Viceroy communicated his views to the Secretary of 
State in the following telegram : 

' Necessary to find without delay some Native authority to which we 
can restore northern Afghanistan without risk of immediate anarchy 
on our evacuation of Kabul not later than next autumn, and if possible 
earlier. No prospect of finding in the country any man strong enough 
for this purpose. I therefore advocate early public recognition of 
Abdur Kahman as legitimate heir of Dost Mahomed, and open deputa- 
tion of Sirdars with British concurrence to offer him throne of 
Afghanistan as sole means of saving the country from anarchy. Do 
you approve ?' 

Lord Cranbrook's reply was as follows : 

' Assuming that Abdur Kahman is acceptable to the country, and 
that he would be content with northern Afghanistan, it is desirable to 
support him at Kabul ; the more spontaneous any advances to him on 
the part of the Sirdars, and the less appearance of British influence, 
the better. But where is he ? And how do you propose to learn his 
wishes and intentions ? If invited by Chiefs, every inducement to 
bring him to Kabul should be then held out. Public recognition 
should not precede, but follow, his adoption by Sirdars, and his 
acceptance of the position.' 

By the end of March authentic intelligence was received 
that Abdur Rahman had made himself master of Afghan- 
Turkestan, and was corresponding with the representative 


Sirdars at Kabul. It seemed, therefore, that the time had 
arrived when distinct overtures might be made to Abdur 
Eahman ; accordingly, on the 1st April Mr. Griffin addressed 
to him the following letter : 

1 It has become known that you have entered Afghanistan, and con- 
sequently this letter is sent you by a confidential messenger, in order 
that you may submit to the British officers at Kabul any representa- 
tions that you may desire to make to the British Government with 
regard to your object in entering Afghanistan.' 

Abdur Eahman, in his friendly but guarded reply,* ex- 
pressed in general terms his hope of being recognized as 
Amir. He greatly desired, he wrote, the friendship of the 
British, and their assistance in restoring peace and order 
to Afghanistan ; but at the same time, he hinted that his 
obligations to the Kussian Government for the hospitality 
they had extended to him placed him in some doubt as to 
the terms upon which our friendship might be accorded 
to him, and while he expressed a desire for the permanent 
establishment of Afghanistan, with our assistance and 
sympathy, he let it be understood that he wished to 
consider himself under the protection of Eussia as well 
as of Great Britain. 

In a verbal message, however, he added that he was 
ready to cross the Hindu Kush to discuss matters with our 
officers, and he begged that he might be furnished with 
information as to the ' nature of our friendship ' and * its 

In answer, Mr. Griffin was directed to inform Abdur 
Eahman that the relations of Afghanistan to the British 
and Eussian Empires was a subject the Government of 

* Abdur Eahman' s letter is given in the Appendix. 


India must decline to discuss with him, and to explain that 
their declared determination had been the exclusion of 
foreign influence and interference from Afghanistan, a 
cardinal condition ' which had at all times and under all 
circumstances been deemed essential for the permanent 
security of Her Majesty's Indian Empire,' a condition, 
moreover, which had always been accepted by the Govern- 
ment of the Czar, which had repeatedly renewed those 
assurances, solemnly given to Her Majesty's Ministers, 
that ' Eussia considered Afghanistan as entirely beyond the 
sphere of her influence.'* 

Early in April the Mustaufi (w T hom, it will be remembered, 
I had sent to Ghazni to communicate with the Chiefs, and 
ascertain their ideas and desires as to the future govern- 
ment of Kabul) returned without having achieved much 
success. He had persuaded some of the leading men to 
accompany him as far as Maidan, whence a few repre- 
sentatives came on to Kabul as bearers of a document 
signed by Mahomed Jan, tw T elve other Sirdars, and 189 
influential tribesmen, setting forth their views and wishes ; 
but as these were all based upon the restoration of Yakub 
Khan, their proposals could not be entertained. 

On the 13th April I held a durbar, at which I received 
this deputation ; all the Sirdars, Chiefs, and maliks of 
Kabul and many Hazaras being present. Mr. Grifiin, on 
the part of the Government, told them that Yakub Khan 
could not be allowed to return to Afghanistan, but that the 
names of any Sirdars, approved of by a large proportion of 
the people for the Amirship, would be laid before the 

* This letter from the Foreign Secretary to Mr. Griffin is given in 
full in the Appendix. 




Viceroy ; that there was no intention of annexing Afghan- 
istan, and that there would be no occupation of any places 
except such as were necessary for the safety of our Indian 
frontier. They were further informed that the British 
army would be withdrawn as soon as the country had 
settled down peacefully and an Amir, amicably disposed 
towards us, had been selected ; but that Kandahar would 
not again be united to Kabul. 

The effect produced was good. The deputation was 
greatly disappointed that Yakub Khan was not to be per- 
mitted to return, but all present felt that they had received 
a definite reply. 

[ 321 ] 


Sir Donald Stewart's division, which, I have mentioned, 
it had been decided should be sent to Kabul to take part in 
the pacification of northern Afghanistan, left Kandahar* on 
the 30th March, and was expected to arrive at Ghazni 
about the 21st April. On the 16th I received a letter 
from Sir Donald, dated six days before, asking me to 
send supplies to meet him. I, therefore, that same day 
despatched a small column, under the command of Major- 
General Eoss, C.B., with the articles of food required ; and 
as I thought it likely that my object in sending this force 
might be misunderstood, the deputation which attended the 
durbar was told to explain matters to the Chiefs at Maidan, 
and assure them that the advance would be peaceful unless 
hostilities should be provoked by their own action. Not- 
withstanding this precaution, I thought it quite possible the 
column would be opposed, for the news concerning Abdur 
Eahman's advent was causing considerable excitement ; 
and whilst the soldiers and a proportion of the tribesmen 
were disposed to welcome him as a deliverer, those from 
Wardak and Logar resented his appearance on the scene 

* Sir Donald Stewart's division was replaced at Kandahar by troops 
from Bombay. 

vol. ii. 53 


as putting an end to their hopes of having Yakub Khan 

With a view, therefore, to prevent the Logaris from 
joining any attack which might be made on General Eoss, 
I sent a party, 1,200 strong, under Colonel Jenkins, in the 
direction of Charasia. 

On the 22nd April Eoss reached Sar-i-top, forty-one 
miles from Ghazni ; Sir Donald Stewart having arrived 
that same day at the latter place, heliographic com- 
munication was at once opened with him, and the 
welcome news was signalled that Sir Donald had fought 
an engagement at Ahmedkhel on the 19th, and had 
been entirely successful. On receipt of this intelligence 
I ordered a Eoyal salute to be fired in honour of the 
victory, the announcement of which I hoped might have 
a quieting effect on the excitement which prevailed around 

In this I was disappointed. On the evening of the 24th, 
Jenkins, who was encamped at Charasia, heard that he 
was about to be attacked by the Logaris, under Mahomed 
Hasan Khan. At once striking his tents, and collecting his 
baggage in a sheltered spot, he ordered a party of Cavalry 
to reconnoitre up the Logar valley, strengthened his 
piquets, and sent off an express messenger to inform me 
of the situation. 

I immediately despatched Brigadier- General Macpherson 
to Jenkins's assistance. By 9 a.m. he had started, with 
four Mountain guns and 962 Infantry, followed later by two 
more guns and a troop of the 3rd Punjab Cavalry ; and as 
a support to Macpherson, Brigadier-General Hugh Gough, 
with the Cavalry brigade and four Horse Artillery guns, 


was ordered to take up a position half-way between Kabul 
and Charasia. 

At 1 p.m. on the 25th Macpherson arrived on the high 
ground beyond the sang-i-nawishta gorge, whence he 
obtained a good view of Jenkins's position ; and seeing 
that the enemy formed a complete semicircle round it, he 
pushed on. Jenkins had stood on the defensive from the 
early morning, and the Afghans, who had advanced to 
within a couple of hundred yards, were only kept at bay 
by the steadiness of his fire. 

Macpherson first sent back the baggage to Sherpur, so as 
to free all hands for action, and then proceeded to attack 
the left horn of the semicircle. The enemy broke, fell 
back, and were completely scattered by a well-directed 
Artillery fire ; the surrounding hills were speedily cleared, 
and the Cavalry and Horse Artillery pursued for four 
miles. By four o'clock not a single living Afghan was to 
be seen ; more than 200 had been killed, while our casualties 
were only four killed and thirty-four wounded. 

I came up just as the fight was over; and being sure 
from the decisive character of the defeat that a retirement 
could not be misunderstood, I ordered the troops to return 
to Kabul. 

In anticipation of Sir Donald Stewart's arrival, and the 
consequent necessity for my making over to him, as my 
senior, the supreme command of the Kabul Field Force, 
I prepared a report* for his information, which explained 
the general military situation in northern Afghanistan, and 
contained a statement of economic details which I thought 

* The part of the report which deals with economic details is given 
in the Appendix ; the military portion is omitted, as it was only 
intended for Sir Donald Stewart's information at the time. 


would be of use to the Government, and concerning which 
an experience of eighteen months in the field enabled me 
to give an opinion with some confidence. 

The strength of the Kabul Field Force at the end of 
April amounted to nearly 14.000 men and thirty-eight 
guns, with 12,500 followers;* besides 15,000 men and 
thirty guns on the Khyber line, under the immediate 
command of Major-General Bright. 

Sir Donald reached Kabul on the 5th May. On the 
same day we heard that the Beaconsfield Administration 
had come to an end ; that a new Ministry had been formed 
under Mr. Gladstone ; that Lord Lytton had resigned, and 
was to be succeeded by the Marquis of Kipon ; and that the 
Marquis of Hartington had become Secretary of State for 

Notwithstanding the pleasure of meeting an old friend 
in my new Commander, that 5th of May was altogether not 
a happy day for me. Lord Lytton's approaching departure 
was a source of real sorrow. Personally, I felt that I was 
deeply indebted to him for the confidence he had reposed 
in me, and for the warm support he had invariably 
accorded me. I had hoped that he would have had the 
gratification of seeing, while in office, the campaign in 
which he was so much interested satisfactorily concluded, 
and with the prospect of permanent results ; and I dreaded 
that a change of Government might mean a reversal of the 
policy which I believed to be the best for the security of 
our position in India. Moreover, it was not in human 

* Of these, more than 3,000 were doolie-bearers, and nearly 8,000 
were saices of Native Cavalry regiments, and men belonging to the 
Transport and other Departments. 


nature to feel absolute satisfaction in yielding up the 
supreme command I had so greatly delighted in, into the 
hands of another, even though that other was one for 
whom I had so great a personal regard, and under whom I 
had already served in the field. 

The amalgamated troops were now styled the Northern 
Afghanistan Field Force, and I retained the command of 
the two divisions at Kabul, with Major-General John Boss 
as second in command; while Major-General Hills was 
given the brigades from Kandahar, which now became the 
third division of the Force. 

The idea in bringing Stewart away from Kandahar was 
that he should occupy Ghazni and Kabul ; that my 
divisions should operate in Kohistan and in the direction 
of Bamian; that General Bright should move against the 
Ghilzais ; and that a column from Kuram should march 
over the Shutargardan to Kabul. It was hoped that 
these operations would have the effect of quieting the 
country, and, by the time they had been carried out, it 
would be possible to evacuate northern Afghanistan. 

With a view to having my divisions thoroughly efficient 
and mobile for the service they were expected to perform, 
I had largely replenished the numbers of my transport 
animals, which had suffered greatly from the strain put 
upon them in supplying the troops with food and 
other necessaries during the winter months ; they had 
been continuously at work in the most inclement weather, 
numbers had died, and those that remained required to be 
carefully looked after and given complete rest to render 
them fit for the contemplated operations. Major Mark 
Heathcote, who had taken, at my particular request, 


the arduous charge of this department, wished to revert to 
regimental duty, so I applied for, and obtained, the services 
of Lieutenant-Colonel R. Low* as Director of Transport, 
under whose energetic and intelligent management the 
transport service was rendered as perfect as it was possible 
to make it. In the end, circumstances prevented the con- 
certed movements for which these preparations were made 
being carried out, but I reaped the benefit of them when 
later in the year I was required to undertake a rapid 
march to Kandahar, which could not possibly have been 
successfully accomplished had my transport not been in 
such admirable condition. 

In order to relieve the great pressure put upon the Com- 
missariat Department by having to provide for the in- 
creased number of troops at Kabul, and with a view to 
opening up the roads upon which traffic had been more or 
less impeded for some months, it was considered desirable 
to send a strong brigade towards Maidan, which I accom- 
panied, and remained away from Kabul for some weeks. 
On my return, I found a considerable change had taken 
place in the political situation. The Mustaufi had been 
deported to India ; the correspondence between Abdur 
Rahman and Mr. Griffin had taken rather an unsatis- 
factory turn, and the Sirdar's dealings with the leading 
Chiefs and tribesmen had given cause to fear that, if he 
came to Kabul during our occupation, it might be as an 
enemy rather than a friend. 

The Mustaufi was a firm adherent of the Sher Ali 
faction, and, finding there was no hope of Yakub Khan 
being reinstated, and that we were negotiating with Abdur 
* Now Major-General Sir Eobert Low, G.C.B. 


Eahman, he had espoused the cause of Yakub's younger 
brother, Ayub Khan, and had been proved guilty of inciting 
the Sirdars and Chiefs to oppose us. For this he was 
very properly sent out of Afghanistan ; nevertheless, I 
looked upon his removal as a misfortune, for it broke up 
the only party that could possibly be formed to counter- 
balance Abdur Eahman, who was astute enough to see that 
the weaker our position became, the more chance there was 
of his being able to get his own terms from us. 

From the letters he had written to his friends and rela- 
tions in northern Afghanistan (the majority of which had 
fallen into our hands), it was evident that he was doing all 
he could to strengthen himself, even at our expense, and 
that he greatly disliked the idea of Kandahar being 
separated from the kingdom of Kabul. Indeed, in one of 
his communications to Mr. Griffin he had made it clear 
that he expected the whole inheritance of his grandfather, 
Dost Mahomed Khan, to be made over to him. 

The uncertainty as to the result of the correspondence 
with Abdur Eahman, the rumours in circulation regarding 
his real disposition and plans, and the general excitement 
throughout the country, suggested such grave doubts of the 
Sirdar's good faith that, in some quarters, the question was 
seriously discussed whether it might not be necessary to 
break off negotiations with him, and reinstate Yakub 
Khan, or else set up his brother, Ayub Khan, as Amir. 

I myself was altogether opposed to Yakub Khan's restora- 
tion, and as to Ayub Khan, we were in total ignorance of 
his character and proclivities, even if he had been near 
enough to treat with. It appeared to me, moreover, that 
we had gone too far with Abdur Eahman to throw him 


over because, in conformity with Afghan character and 
tradition, he was not running quite straight. I, therefore, 
gave it as my opinion that we should not change our 
tactics unless it was found impossible to come to terms 
with him, or unless it was made evident on his nearer 
approach to Kabul that the majority of his countrymen 
were averse to have him as their Euler. 

Soon after this the situation began to improve, and early 
in July Mr. Griffin was able to inform the Government of 
India that ' the probabilities of a settlement with Abdur 
Kahman appear far more favourable than they did last 
week. . . .' ' Abdur Eahman has seen that we have been 
fully informed of the game he has been playing, that 
trickery and treachery would not be tolerated, and that, 
if he intends coming to a settlement with us at all, he 
must be prepared to accept our terms rather than dictate 
his own.' 

A few days later a letter was received from Abdur 
Eahman, announcing his arrival in Kohistan. His near 
approach, and the report that he was willing to accept our 
terms, excited a keen and hopeful interest throughout the 
country, for the Afghans had at length become convinced 
that the only chance of getting rid of us was by agreeing 
to any form of settled government we might establish, and 
they had grown heartily tired of perpetual fighting and of 
having to maintain bands of ghazis to oppose us, who were 
eating them out of house and home. With the exception 
of the Sher Ali faction, therefore, whose interests were 
directly opposed to his, Abdur Eahman' s advent was wel- 
comed by the people, and several of the most influential 
amongst them went to meet him. 


Towards the end of July Sir Donald Stewart was em- 
powered to conclude all political and military arrange- 
ments preparatory to withdrawing from northern Afghan- 
istan. Abdur Kahman was to be recognized as ' Amir of 
Kabul '; he was to be provided with a sufficient number 
of guns to strengthen effectively his occupation of the 
city, and he was to be given as much money (within a 
maximum of ten lakhs) as was thought necessary to meet 
his present wants. It was to be clearly explained to Abdur 
Kahman that the Government of India would not engage 
to give him a regular subsidy, or a continuous supply of 
arms or money, and that after he had taken possession of 
his capital he would have to rely upon his own resources 
for holding it. There was to be no treaty, and all ques- 
tions of reciprocal engagements between the two Govern- 
ments were to be postponed until some settled and respon- 
sible administration had been consolidated. 

General Stewart was directed to make the best arrange- 
ments he could with Abdur Kahman for the protection of 
the tribes and individuals who had assisted us, and the 
Sirdar was to be informed that, if he desired our goodwill, 
he could give no better proof of his friendly disposition 
than by his behaviour towards those of his own nation in 
whom the British Government were interested. 

Sir Donald Stewart considered that the best way of giving 
effect to these instructions was to publicly proclaim Abdur 
Kahman as Amir of Kabul ; for this purpose he held 
a durbar on the 22nd July, at which the Sirdar's repre- 
sentatives were received. Sir Donald, in a few words, 
gave his reasons for summoning them to meet him, 
and Mr. Griffin then explained more fully the motives by 


which the Government of India were actuated in acknow- 
ledging the claims of Abdur Eahman. Immediately after 
the durbar orders were issued for an early retirement. 

I was to withdraw my column by the Kuram route ; but 
being anxious to see something of the Khyber line while 
I had the opportunity, I started off the following day to 
ride through the Jagdalak Pass to Gandamak, where I 
was entertained by General Bright and his staff. The 
next day I went on to Jalalabad, and was greatly interested 
in wandering over the place where Sir Eobert Sale in some 
measure redeemed the lamentable failures of the first 
Afghan war. 

My intention, when I left Kabul, was to ride as far as the 
Khyber Pass, but suddenly a presentiment, which I have 
never been able to explain to myself, made me retrace 
my steps and hurry back towards Kabul — a presentiment 
of coming trouble which I can only characterize as 

The feeling was justified when, about half-way between 
Butkhak and Kabul, I was met by Sir Donald Stewart and 
my Chief of the Staff,* who brought me the astounding 
news of the total defeat by Ayub Khan of Brigadier-General 
Burrows's brigade at Maiwand, and of Lieutenant-General 
Primrose,! with the remainder of his force, being besieged 
at Kandahar. 

* Colonel Macgregor and Lieutenant- Colonel Chapman had changed 
places, the former joining Sir Donald Stewart as Chief of the Staff, and 
the latter taking up the same position with me. 

f Lieutenant-General Primrose succeeded Sir Donald Stewart in 
command of the troops at Kandahar. 

[33i ] 


For more than six months rumours had been afloat of 
Ayub Khan's determination to advance on Kandahar ; but 
little attention was paid to them by the authorities at that 
place until towards the end of May, when a Sirdar, named 
Sher Ali,* who had been a few days before formally in- 
stalled as Wali, or Ruler, of Kandahar, informed the political 
officer, Lieutenant-Colonel St. John, that the British occu- 
pation of Kabul had had the effect of bringing about a 
reconciliation between the various chiefs at Herat, who had 
placed themselves under the leadership of Ayub Khan and 
induced him to proclaim a jahad. Sher Ali, who evidently 
considered this news authentic, declared his belief that his 
own troops, t who were then engaged in collecting revenue 
in Zamindawar, would desert to Ayub Khan as he ap- 
proached Kandahar, and he begged that a brigade of 
British soldiers might be sent to Girishk to support him. 

On General Primrose communicating this information to 
the Commander-in-Chief in India, he recommended to the 

* Sirdar Sher Ali had been appointed Governor of Kandahar by the 
Amir Yakub Khan after the treaty of Gandamak, and had since 
assisted Sir Donald Stewart in the civil administration of the province. 

f Local Native levies. 


Government that the Bombay reserve division, located at 
Jacobabad, Hyderabad, and Karachi, should be mobilized 
so soon as it became certain that Ayub Khan really con- 
templated this move, as in his opinion the garrison at 
Kandahar would be left dangerously weak after a brigade 
had been detached for Girishk. 

Ayub Khan's movements, however, were not ascertained 
until the 27th June, when he had advanced halfway to the 
Helmand ; it was too late then to mobilize troops so far 
off as Jacobabad, Hyderabad, and Karachi with any chance 
of their being in time to check his onward march. The 
news of his approach spread rapidly, and had the most 
disturbing effect in Kandahar and its neighbourhood. 
The Governor's authority daily diminished, and many of 
the inhabitants left the city. 

Ayub Khan had with him, when he started from Herat 
on the 15th June, 7,500 men and ten guns as the nucleus of 
an army, which he calculated, as he moved forward, would 
be strongly reinforced by tribesmen, levies, and ghazis. 

On the 4th July a brigade, under the command of 
Brigadier-General Burrows, started from Kandahar, and 
reached the Helmand on the 11th, encamping on the near 
bank of the river opposite Girishk. On the further bank 
Sirdar Sher Ali's troops were located, having with them 
six guns. Two days afterwards these troops deserted in a 
body to the enemy, but did not succeed in taking their 
Artillery with them, as Burrows, on perceiving their inten- 
tion, crossed the river and captured the guns. 

Brigadier-General Burrows's position had now entirely 
changed ; instead of there being a loyal force under the 
Wali, with which to co-operate and prevent Ayub Khan 


crossing the Helmand, he found himself with an inadequate 
number of troops, the Wali's men gone over to the enemy, 
and the Wali himself a fugitive in the British camp. The 
Helmand was fordable everywhere at that season, making 
it easy for, Ayub to cut off Burrows's retreat ; the first 
twenty-five of the eighty miles by which he was separated 
from Kandahar was a desert, and no supplies were forth- 
coming owing to the hostile attitude of the people. 
Burrows therefore determined to retire to Khushk-i- 
Nakhud, an important position half-way to Kandahar, 
covering the road from Girishk, and where supplies and 
water were plentiful. 

Burrows reached Khushk-i-Nakhud on the 16th July. 
On the 22nd the Commander-in-Chief in India, who had 
been inquiring from General Primrose whether there were 
' any routes from the Helmand passing by the north to 
Ghazni, by which Ayub Khan might move with his guns,' 
telegraphed to Primrose : ' You will understand that you 
have full liberty to attack Ayub, if you consider you are 
strong enough to do so. Government consider it of the 
highest political importance that his force should be dis- 
persed, and prevented by all possible means from passing 
on to Ghazni.' 

On the afternoon of the 26th information was received 
by Brigadier- General Burrows that 2,000 of the enemy's 
Cavalry and a large body of ghazis had arrived at 
Maiwand, eleven miles off, and that Ayub Khan was 
about to follow with the main body of his army. 

To prevent Ayub Khan getting to Ghazni, General 
Burrows had to do one of two things, either await him at 
Khushk-i-Nakhud, or intercept him at Maiwand. After 


consulting with Colonel St. John, he determined to adopt 
the latter course, as he hoped thus to be able to deal with 
the ghazis before they were joined by Ayub Khan. 

The brigade started soon after 6 a.m. on the 27th. It 
was encumbered by a large number of baggage animals, 
which Burrows considered could not be left behind because 
of the hostile state of the country, and the impossibility 
of detaching any part of his already too small force for 
their protection. 

At 10 a.m., when about half-way to Maiwand, a spy 
brought in information that Ayub Khan had arrived at 
that place, and was occupying it in force ; General Burrows, 
however, considered it then too late to turn back, and 
decided to advance. At a quarter to twelve the forces 
came into collision, and the fight lasted until past three 
o'clock. The Afghans, who, Burrows reported, numbered 
25,000, soon outflanked the British. Our Artillery expended 
their ammunition, and the Native portion of the brigade 
got out of hand, and pressed back on the few British 
Infantry, who were unable to hold their own against the 
overwhelming numbers of the enemy. Our troops were com- 
pletely routed, and had to thank the apathy of the Afghans 
in not following them up for escaping total annihilation. 

Of the 2,476 men engaged at Maiwand, 934 were killed 
and 175 were wounded and missing;* the remnant 

* British officers 


Wounded and 



,, troops 



Native ,, 







struggled on throughout the night to Kandahar, where the 
first of the fugitives arrived early on the morning of the 
28th. Brigadier-General Burrows, who had two horses 
shot under him during the engagement, was amongst the 
last to reach Kandahar. 

This lamentable story imparted to me by Stewart almost 
took my breath away, and we eagerly discussed the situa- 
tion as we rode back together to Sherpur. It was impossible 
to predict how the news would affect the recent arrange- 
ments entered into with Abdur Kahman, or what the 
attitude of the tribesmen would be ; but we agreed that, 
whatever might happen in our immediate neighbourhood, 
the only means of affording speedy relief to the Kandahar 
garrison was by sending a force from Kabul. 

It soon, however, became apparent, by telegrams received 
from Simla, that the Government were in doubt as to the best 
course to pursue, and looked to Quetta rather than Kabul 
as the place from which Kandahar could be most con- 
veniently and rapidly succoured. This was not altogether 
surprising, for the authorities naturally hesitated to weaken 
Kabul until matters had been finally settled with Abdur 
Kahman, and it was only to be expected that, after what 
had occurred at Maiwand, they should be alarmed at the 
idea of a force being cut off from all communication with 
India during the four weeks, or thereabouts, it would take 

Of the regimental followers 331 were killed and 7 were missing ; 
455 transport followers and drivers were reported as killed or missing, 
but a number of these, being Afghans, probably joined the enemy. 

A large quantity of arms and ammunition was lost, including over 
1,000 rifles and carbines, and 600 or 700 swords and bayonets. 

201 horses were killed, and 1,676 camels, 355 ponies, 24 mules, 
291 donkeys, and 79 bullocks, were not forthcoming. 


to reach Kandahar. But there was really no alternative, 
for, as Major-General Phayre* (commanding in Balu- 
chistan) reported,! the troops available for Field Service 
were but few in number, it would require at least fifteen 
days to equip them, and there was no organized transport 
at hand, the animals having been sent to distant grazing- 
grounds on account of the scarcity of water and forage. 

I knew nothing as to the actual condition of the troops 
in Baluchistan, except that, as belonging to the Bombay 
Presidency, they could not be composed of the best fighting 
races, and I had a strong feeling that it would be extremely 
unwise to make use of any but the most proved Native 
soldiers against Ayub Khan's superior numbers, elated as 
his men must be with their victory at Maiwand. 

The disaster to our arms caused, as was to be expected, 
considerable excitement all along the border ; indeed, 
throughout India the announcement produced a certain 
feeling of uneasiness — a mere surface ripple — but enough 
to make those who remembered the days of the Mutiny 
anxious for better news from the north. 

To me it seemed of such supreme importance that 
Kandahar should be relieved without delay, and the reverse 
to our arms retrieved, that I made up my mind to com- 
municate my views to the Viceroy through the Commander- 
in-Chief, in the hope that, when he realized that a 

* Afterwards General Sir Eobert Phayre, G.C.B. 

f General Phayre reported on the 28th July that there were only 
seven Native regiments in Baluchistan, three of which were required 
for the lines of communication, leaving only four available for Field 
Service ; and that a battalion of British Infantry and a battery of Field 
Artillery required for his column were a long way off, being still in 


thoroughly efficient force was ready and willing to start 
from Kabul, he would no longer hesitate as to what was 
best to do. 

On the 30th July I dined with Stewart, and, leaving his 
mess-tent at an early hour, I retired to my own quarters, 
and wrote out the following telegram in cipher, but, before 
despatching it, I showed it to Stewart, for, although I 
knew that his views were in accord with mine, I could not 
with propriety have sent it without his knowledge : 

1 To Major- General Greaves,* Adjutant-General in India, Simla. 

• Kabul, 

' 30th July, 1880. 

' Personal and secret. I strongly recommend that a force be sent 
from this to Kandahar. Stewart has organized a very complete one 
consisting of nine regiments of Infantry, three of Cavalry, and three 
Mountain batteries. This will suffice to overcome all opposition 
en route ; it will have the best possible effect on the country, and will 
be ready to go anywhere on reaching Kandahar, being fully equipped 
in all respects. He proposes sending me in command. 

1 1 am sure that but few Bombay regiments are able to cope with 
Afghans, and once the Kabul Field Force leaves this country, the chance 
of sending a thoroughly reliable and well-equipped column will be lost. 
The movement of the remainder of the Kabul troops towards India 
should be simultaneous with the advance of my division towards 
Kandahar, it being most desirable to limit the area of our responsibilities 
as soon as possible ; at the same time, it is imperative that we should 
now show our strength throughout Afghanistan. The withdrawal, 
under existing circumstances, of the whole force from Kabul to India 
would certainly be misunderstood, both in Afghanistan and elsewhere. 
You need have no fears about my division. It can take care of itself, 
and will reach Kandahar under the month. I will answer for the 
loyalty and good feeling of the Native portion, and would propose to 
inform them that, as soon as matters have been satisfactorily settled at 
Kandahar, they will be sent straight back to India. Show this to 

* Now General Sir George Greaves. G.C.B., G.C.M.G. 
vol. 11. 54 


Exaggerated reports of the Maiwand affair being rife in 
the Kabul bazaars, which were daily becoming crowded 
with armed Afghans from Abdur Eahman's camp, and 
the prospect of troops having to leave at once for Kan- 
dahar, made it more than ever necessary to bring the 
negotiations with the new Amir to a speedy conclusion. 
It was accordingly arranged that Mr. Griffin should 
meet him at Zimma, about sixteen miles from Kabul. 
This interview had the happiest results, and must have 
been extremely gratifying to Mr. Griffin, whom we all 
heartily congratulated on the successful ending to the very 
delicate and difficult negotiations which he had carried on 
with so much skill and patience. 

In taking leave of His Highness, Mr. Griffin invited him 
to come to the British camp the following day to be 
received by Sir Donald Stewart. Abdur Kahnian himself 
was quite willing to come, and some of his supporters were 
in favour of his doing so, but others vehemently opposed 
the idea, and ' swore by their faith they would leave 
him if he persisted.' After a stormy meeting with his 
Chiefs, the Amir wrote to Mr. Griffin as follows : ' If you 
really wish me to come to you, irrespective of the opinion 
of the people, I am quite ready to do so. Please write 
and let me know your wishes. I am in the hands of 
ignorant fools, who do not know their own interests, good 
or bad. What can I do ? I am most anxious to meet you.' 

Upon receipt of this note Stewart decided that it would 
be impolitic to press for an interview, for, instead of 
strengthening the Amir, as had been the intention, it was 
evident it would have the opposite effect, so the meeting 
was given up. 


On the morning of the 3rd August the telegram arrived 
from Lord Ripon, which I had been so anxiously expecting, 
authorizing the despatch of a force to Kandahar, and 
directing that I should be placed in command. 

I heard afterwards that my message to the Adjutant- 
General was received at Simla at a most opportune 
moment. Lyall took it without delay to Lord Ripon, who 
from the first had been in favour of a force being sent from 
Kabul, but had refrained from ordering the movement in 
deference to the views held by some members of his 
Council, whose longer experience of India, His Excellency 
considered, entitled their opinions to be treated with 

I set to work at once to organize the column which I 
was to have the great honour of commanding. In this 
most congenial duty I received every possible assistance 
and encouragement from Stewart ; he gave me carte- 
blanche, and I should only have had myself to blame if 
every unit had not been as efficiently equipped as circum- 
stances would admit. 

I wished that the force should be composed, as far as 
possible, of those who had served with me throughout the 
campaign ; but as some of the regiments (more especially 
Native corps) had been away from their homes for two 
years, and had had more than their share of fighting, 
besides having suffered heavy losses in action and through 
sickness, I considered it right to consult their commanders 
before detailing the troops. With the exception of three, 
who thought that their regiments had been long enough 
away from India, all, to my great delight, eagerly re- 
sponded to my call, and I took upon myself to promise 


the men that they should not be left to garrison Kandahar, 
but should be sent back to India as soon as the fighting 

When the several regiments were decided upon, every 
man not likely to stand the strain of prolonged forced 
marches was weeded out, and the scale of baggage, tents, 
and impedimenta was reduced to a minimum.* 

I had no fear as to the officers and men ably and 
cheerfully performing their part of the task ; we had been 
long enough together to enable us thoroughly to under- 
stand and trust each other, and I felt that I could depend 
upon each and all to respond heartily to whatever call I 
might make upon them. 

The question of supplies was my greatest anxiety, and I 
had many consultations with my experienced Commissariat 
officer, Major Badcock, before I could feel satisfied in this 

The transport, as I have already recorded, was in good 
order ; it was fortunate that the soldiers had been practised 
in loading, leading, and tending the animals, for the 
Afghan drivers deserted to a man a march or two from 
Kabul, and the Hazaras followed their example on reaching 
their own country. Sir Donald Stewart's account of the 
troubles he had encountered during his march from Kan- 

* Each British soldier was allowed for kit and camp- 
equipage, including great-coat and waterproof sheet 30 lbs. 
Each Native soldier - - - - 20 ,, 
Each public and private follower - - - 10 „ 
Each European officer - - - 1 mule. 
Every eight officers for mess - - - 1 ,, 
Each staff- officer for office purposes - - - 80 lbs. 
Each Native officer - - - - 30 ,, 


dahar was not very encouraging, and I should have been 
glad if I could have taken a larger amount of supplies ;* 
but on this point I had to be guided by the number of 
animals that could be allotted to the column, which was 
necessarily limited, as carriage had to be provided simul- 
taneously for the withdrawal of the rest of the army of 

The strength of the force placed at my disposal consisted 
of 9,986 men of all ranks and eighteen guns, divided 
into three brigades of Infantry, one brigade of Cavalry, 
and three batteries of Mountain Artillery. There were, 

* The amount of supplies taken with the force was as follows : 

For British Troops. 

Bread-stuff - - - - -5 days.. 

Preserved vegetables - - - - 15 ,, 

Tea, sugar, salt, and rum - - - 30 ,„ 

For Native Troops and Followers. 
Flour - - - - - 5 days. 

Dal and salt - - - - - 30 ,, 

Rum for spirit -drinking men - - - 8 ,, 

Sheep, ten days' supply for British troops and four issues for 
Native troops, with 20 per cent, spare. Nearly 5,000 sheep 
were purchased on the march. N.B. — There are no horned 
cattle in Afghanistan, except those used for the plough or 

In addition to the above, a small reserve of lime-juice, pea-soup, and 
tinned meat was taken ; these proved most useful, and might have 
been increased with advantage had carriage been available. 

I gave strict orders that the reserve of bread-stuff, flour, and sheep 
was never to be used without my sanction, and that wherever possible 
food for the day's consumption was to be purchased. We had occa- 
sionally to trench upon the reserve, but we nearly made it up at other 
places, and we arrived at Kandahar with three days' supplies in 


besides, over 8,000 followers* and 2,300 horses and gun- 

It was designated the Kabul-Kandahar Field Force. 

Major-General J. Koss, C.B., was given the command of 
the Infantry division, his three Brigadier- Generals being 
Herbert Macpherson, T. D. Baker, and Charles Macgregor. 
Brigadier- General Hugh Gough commanded the Cavalry 
hrigade ; Colonel Alured Johnson the Artillery ; while 
•Colonel iE. Perkins held the position of Commanding Koyal 
Engineer; Deputy - Surgeon - General J. Hanbury that of 
Principal Medical Officer; and Lieutenant-Colonel E. F. 
^Chapman, Chief of the Staff. 

From the detail of the force given below,! it will be 

"* The followers consisted of : 

Doolie -bearers - .... 2,192 

Transport and other departments - - 4,698 

Private servants, and saices of Native Cavalry 

regiments ..... 1,244 

Total - - - 8,134 


1st Infantry Brigade. 

British. Native. 
92nd Highlanders - - - - 651 — 

23rd Pioneers - - - - — 701 

24th Punjab Native Infantry - - — 575 

2nd Gurkhas - - - - — 501 

Total - - 651 1,777 

2nd Infantry Brigade. 

British. Native. 
72nd Highlanders - - - - 787 

2nd Sikh Infantry - - — 612 

3rd Sikh Infantry ----- 570 

5th Gurkhas — 561 

Total - - 787 1,743 




seen that there was no wheeled Artillery, and that the 
number of guns was not in proportion to the strength of 
the other branches. This was my own doing ; I was pressed 
to take more and heavier guns, but, after due consideration, 
I decided that I would only have Mountain batteries. We 
could not tell how long the Kandahar garrison would be able 
to hold out, so that our first object must be to reach that 

3rd Infantry Brigade 



60th Bines, 2nd Battalion 



15th Sikhs ..... 



25th Punjab Native Infantry 



4th Gurkhas .... 



Total - 


Cavalry Brigade. 



9th Queen's Boyal Lancers 



3rd Bengal Cavalry 



3rd Punjab Cavalry 



Central India Horse 



Total - 


Artillery Division. 




6-8th Boyal Artillery — screw guns 95 



ll-9th Koyal Artillery - - 95 



No. 2 Mountain Battery - - — 



Total - 190 



Total of Force. 

British troops 



Native ,, 



British officers 



Guns ..... 



Cavalry horses 



Artillery mules 



Two hundred rounds of ammunition were taken for each Infantry 




place with the least possible delay, and wheeled Artillery 
would, in a country where there were practically no roads, 
have only prevented our moving as rapidly as we might 
otherwise have done. 

For the equipment of the force, inclusive of carriage 
for footsore soldiers* and followers, and allowing ten 
per cent, spare, more than 8,000t animals were re- 

soldier : seventy rounds were carried by each man, thirty rounds were 
in reserve with the regiment, and a hundred rounds in the Field Park. 
Each Mountain battery had : 

Common shell ..... 264 

Double shell - - - - - - 60 

Shrapnel shell - - - - - 144 

Star shell ...... 24 

Case shot - - - - - 48 

Total ... 540 rounds. 
And thirty rounds per gun in the Field Park. 

* British troops were allowed ponies at the rate of 2 per cent, of 

Native troops were allowed ponies at the rate of 2£ per cent, of 

Followers were allowed ponies at the rate of 1^ per cent, of 

Yabus, or 






t Number of animals that 

left Kabul - 





6 1 

Purchased during the 

march 2 






Number of animals that 

reached Kandahar 






Casualties during the 






1 With hospital equipment. 

2 Only twice had animals to be taken against the will of the owners, 
and on both occasions the matter was amicably settled in the end. 


Fortunately, it turned out that a fair amount of Indian 
corn in the ear was almost everywhere procurable, which 
was so nutritious that a large majority of the Cavalry 
horses and transport animals reached Kandahar in ex- 
cellent condition. 

Throughout the march great difficulties were experienced 
in procuring food, but they were always overcome, with 
the able assistance of Major Hastings and his political 
staff,* and by means of the admirable arrangements 
made by the Commissariat! and Transport \ officers, who 
were quite untiring, and after the longest march, and 
with the prospect of having to start again at an early 
hour the following morning, had often to work far into 
the night. 

The want of fuel was our chief drawback. We had 
on many occasions to purchase houses and pull them to 
pieces for the sake of the wood to be got out of them, and 
frequently there was nothing to cook with save tiny roots 
of southernwood, which had to be dug out and collected 
after a long day's march before the men could prepare 
their food and satisfy their hunger. 

One day's corn was carried by each animal, in addition to 
the ordinary load, and as far as Ghazni grain was tolerably 

* Major E. Hastings, Captain West Bidgeway, Major Euan Smith, 
C.S.I., and Major M. Protheroe, 

f Major A. Badcock, Captain A. Eind, and Lieutenants C. Fitz- 
gerald, H. Hawkes, and H. Lyons- Montgomery, all of the Bengal Staff 

I Lieutenant-Colonel B. Low, Bengal Staff Corps; Captain W. 
Wynter, 33rd Foot ; Captains G. H. Eliot and C. E. Macgregor, Bengal 
Staff Corps ; Lieutenants L. Booth, 33rd Foot, H. Elverson, 2nd Foot, 
E. Fisher, 10th Hussars, E. Wilson, 10th Hussars, and C. Eobertson, 
8th Foot. 


plentiful ; beyond that we had to depend for forage on the 
crops still standing. At the end of the day's march, 
certain fields were told off to the several brigades ; from 
these all that was required was cut and carried away, the 
fields were then measured and assessed, and compensation 
was awarded by the political officers, who also adjusted all 
claims on account of wrecked houses, and fruit, vegetables, 
etc., brought in for the troops. 

On Sunday, the 8th August, the force moved into camp 
by brigades, my Head-Quarters being with the first and 
third Infantry brigades at Beni Hissar, on the way to the 
Logar valley, which route I had chosen instead of the 
slightly shorter line by Maidan, on account of the greater 
facility it afforded for supplies. 

Sir Donald Stewart paid us a farewell visit in the after- 
noon, and at 6 a.m. the following morning we began the 
march to Kandahar. 

[ 347 ] 


Before daybreak on the 11th August, as I was starting 
from camp, I received my last communication from the 
outside world in the shape of a telegram from my wife, 
sent off from a little village in Somersetshire, congratulat- 
ing me and the force, and wishing us all God speed. She 
had taken our children to England a few months before, 
thinking that the war in Afghanistan was over, and that I 
would soon be able to follow. 

Four days brought us to the end of the Logar valley, a 
distance of forty-six miles. So far the country was easy 
and supplies plentiful. I thought it wise, however, not 
to attempt long distances at first, that both men and 
animals might become gradually hardened before entering 
on the difficult and scantily cultivated ground between 
Ghilzai and Kelat-i-Ghilzai, where I knew that forced 
marches were inevitable, and that their powers of endur- 
ance would be sorely taxed. Moreover, it was necessary 
to begin quietly, and organize some system by which con- 
fusion in the crowded camping-grounds might be avoided, 
and the physical strain upon everyone lightened as much 
as possible. 

When it is remembered that the daily supply for over 


18,000 men and 11,000 animals had to be drawn from the 
country after arrival in camp, that food had to be dis- 
tributed to every individual, that the fuel with which it was 
cooked had often to be brought from long distances, and 
that a very limited time was available for the preparation 
of meals and for rest, it will readily be understood how 
essential it was that even the stupidest follower should be 
able to find his place in camp speedily, and that everyone 
should know exactly what to do and how to set about 
doing it. 

On the march and in the formation of the camps the 
same principles were, as far as possible, applied each day. 
The ' rouse ' sounded at 2.45 a.m., and by four o'clock 
tents had been struck, baggage loaded up, and every- 
thing was ready for a start. 

As a general rule, the Cavalry covered the movement at 
a distance of about five miles, two of the four regiments 
being in front, with the other two on either flank. Two of 
the Infantry brigades came next, each accompanied by 
a Mountain battery ; then followed the field hospitals, 
Ordnance and Engineer parks, treasure, and the baggage, 
massed according to the order in which the brigades were 
moving. The third Infantry brigade with its Mountain 
battery and one or two troops of Cavalry formed the rear 

A halt of ten minutes was made at the end of each hour, 
which at eight o'clock was prolonged to twenty minutes to 
give time for a hasty breakfast. Being able to sleep on the 
shortest notice, I usually took advantage of these intervals 
to get a nap, awaking greatly refreshed after a few minutes' 
sound sleep. 


On arrival at the resting-place for the night, the front- 
face of the camp was told off to the brigade on rear guard, 
and this became the leading brigade of the column on the 
next day's march. Thus every brigade had its turn of 
rear guard duty, which was very arduous, more particu- 
larly after leaving Ghazni, the troops so employed seldom 
reaching the halting-ground before six or seven o'clock in 
the evening, and sometimes even later. 

One of the most troublesome duties of the rear guard 
was to prevent the followers from lagging behind, for it 
was certain death for anyone who strayed from the shelter 
of the column ; numbers of Afghans always hovered about 
on the look-out for plunder, or in the hope of being able to 
send a Kafir, or an almost equally-detested Hindu, to 
eternal perdition. Towards the end of the march particu- 
larly, this duty became most irksome, for the wretched 
followers were so weary and footsore that they hid them- 
selves in ravines, making up their minds to die, and 
entreating, when discovered and urged to make an effort, 
to be left where they were. Every baggage animal that 
could possibly be spared was used to carry the worn-out 
followers ; but, notwithstanding this and the care taken by 
officers and men that none should be left behind, twenty 
of these poor creatures were lost, besides four Native 

The variation of temperature (at times as much as eighty 
degrees between day and night) was most trying to the 
troops, who had to carry the same clothes whether the 
thermometer was at freezing-point at dawn or at 110° Fahr. 
at mid-day. Scarcity of water, too, was a great trouble to 
them, while constant sand-storms, and the suffocating dust 


raised by the column in its progress, added greatly to their 

Daily reports regarding the health of the troops, followers, 
and transport animals were brought to me each evening, 
and I made it my business to ascertain how many men 
had fallen out during the day, and what had been the 
number of casualties amongst the animals. 

On the 12th August the Head-Quarters and main body 
of the force halted to allow the Cavalry and the second 
Infantry brigade to push on and get clear over the Zam- 
burak Kotal (8,100 feet high) before the rest of the column 
attempted its ascent. This kotal presented a serious 
obstacle to our rapid progress, the gradient being in many 
places one in four, and most difficult for the baggage 
animals ; but by posting staff officers at intervals to control 
the flow of traffic, and by opening out fresh paths to relieve 
the pressure, we got over it much more quickly than I 
had expected. 

On the 15th we reached Ghazni, ninety-eight miles from 
Kabul, a place of peculiar interest to me from the fact that 
it was for his share in its capture, forty-one years before, 
that my father was given the C.B. 

I was met by the Governor, who handed me the keys of 
the fortress, and I placed my own guards and sentries in 
and around the city to prevent collisions between the in- 
habitants and our troops, and also to make sure that our 
demands for supplies were complied with. Up to this 
point we had been fairly well off for food, forage, and 

Our next march was across a barren, inhospitable track 
for twenty miles to a place called Yarghati. On the way 


we passed Ahmedkhel, where Sir Donald Stewart won his 
victory ; the name had been changed by the Natives to 
' the Kesting-place of Martyrs,' and the numerous freshly - 
covered-in graves testified to the gha-zis heavy losses. The 
remains of the few British soldiers, who had been buried 
where they had fallen, had been desecrated, and the bones 
were exposed to view and scattered about. 

At Chardeh, our next halting-place, a communication 
from Colonel Tanner, Commanding at Kelat-i-Ghilzai, was 
brought to me by a Native messenger ; it was dated the 
12th August, and informed me that Kandahar was closely 
invested, but that the garrison had supplies for two months 
and forage for fifteen days. 

On the 21st we arrived at a point thirty miles from 
Kelat-i-Ghilzai, whence we opened heliograph communi- 
cation with that place, and were told of an unsuccessful 
sortie made from Kandahar five days before, in which 
General Brooke and eight other British officers had been 

On the 23rd Kelat-i-Ghilzai was reached. The garrison* 
had been well taken care of by Colonel Tanner,! and a 
large quantity of food for man and beast had been 
collected ; but I thought it unadvisable at present to 
continue to hold the place, and have to keep open com- 
munication between it and Kandahar, and as I could see 
no compensating advantage in doing so, I determined to 
withdraw the troops and take them along with me. 

* The garrison consisted of 2 guns of C/2, Royal Artillery, 145 rifles 
of the 66th Foot, 100 of the 3rd Sind Horse, and the 2nd Baluch 
Regiment, 639 strong. 

f Now Lieutenant- General Sir Oriel Tanner, K.C.B. 


Colonel Tanner's report satisfied me there was no im- 
mediate danger to be apprehended at Kandahar, so I 
decided to halt for one day ; both men and animals 
greatly needed rest after a continuous march of 225 

I had endeavoured to keep the Government of India in- 
formed of my progress by a message from Ghazni, and one 
from Oba Karez on the 18th August, but neither reached 
its destination. I now despatched a message which was 
more successful, and was delivered at Simla on the 30th 
August. It was as follows : 

' Kelat-i-Ghilzai, 

' 23rd August, 1880. 
'The force under my command arrived here this morning. The 
authorities at Kandahar having stated on the 17th instant that they 
have abundant supplies and can make forage last until 1st September, 
I halt to-morrow to rest troops, and more especially the transport 
animals and camp-followers. The force left Ghazni on the 16th, 
and has marched 136 miles during the last eight days ; the troops 
are in good health and spirits. From this I purpose moving by 
regular stages, so that the men may arrive fresh at Kandahar. I 
hope to be in heliographic communication with Kandahar from Kobat, 
distant twenty miles, on the 29th. If General Phayre reaches 
Takht-i-Pul, I should also hope to communicate with him and arrange 
a combined movement on Kandahar. I am taking the Kelat-i-Ghilzai 
garrison with me, making the Fort over to Mahomed Sadik Khan, a 
Toki Chief, who had charge of the place when we arrived in 1879 ; the 
present Governor, Sirdar Sherindil Khan, refuses to remain. "We have 
met with no opposition during the march, and have been able to make 
satisfactory arrangements for supplies, especially forage, which at this 
season is plentiful. The Cavalry horses and Artillery mules are in excel- 
lent order; our casualties to date are, one soldier 72nd Highlanders, 
one sepoy 23rd Pioneers, one 2nd Sikhs, two sepoys 3rd Sikhs dead, 
one sepoy 4th Gurkhas, two sepoys 24th Punjab Native Infantry, 
one Duffadar 3rd Punjab Cavalry missing, six camp-followers dead, 
five missing. The missing men have, I fear, been murdered. I 
telegraphed from Ghazni on the 15th, and from Oba Karez on the 
18th August.' 


I wrote also to Major-General Phayre, telling him of 
the date on which I expected to reach Kandahar, and that 
if I heard of his being anywhere near I would arrange 
my movements to suit his, in order that the two 
forces might make a combined attack on Ayub Khan's 

As I was afraid the supplies at Kandahar would be in- 
sufficient for the additional troops about to be collected there, 
I sent General Phayre a memorandum* of the amount of 
food required daily by my force, and begged him to get 
pushed up from the rear such articles as were more 
particularly wanted. I pointed out that we were badly 

* Estimate of daily requirements for the Kabul-Kandahar Field 
Force and the Kelat-i-Ghilzai garrison : 

Europeans - 3,200 

Native troops ..... 8,000 

Followers ..... 8,500 

Horses - - - - - 2,300 

Transport— yabus 1,592, mules and ponies 5,926, camels 400, 
donkeys 400. 

Meat - 


4,000 lbs. 



40 maunds. 1 



4,000 lbs. 



800 „ 

Salt - 


133 „ 

Sugar - 


600 „ 

Tea - 


150 „ 

Rum, 25 per cent. 


80 gallons. 

Atta - 


320 maunds. 

Dall - 


5H „ 

Ghee - 


m „ 

Salt - 


8^ „ 

Grain - 


700 „ 


1 Major, 


Deputy Commissary-General. 

24£7i August, 1880. 

1 A maund is equivalent to 80 lbs. 




off for boots, and that the 92nd Highlanders had only one 
hundred great-coats fit for wear, which were used by the 
men on night duties. 

On the 25th we marched to Jaldak, seventeen miles, and 
the same distance the next day to Tirandaz, where I 
received a letter from Lieutenant-General Primrose, in- 
forming me that Ayub Khan had raised the siege on the 
23rd, and was entrenching himself at Mazra, beyond the 
Baba Wali Kotal, in the valley of the Arghandab. 

I awoke on the morning of the 27th feeling very unwell, 
and soon found I was in for an attack of fever. The heat 
during the day was becoming more and more overpowering 
as we proceeded south, and I had lately been feeling some- 
what knocked up by it and by exposure to the sun. I had 
now to give in for the time being, and was compelled to 
perform the march in a doolie, a most ignominious mode of 
conveyance for a General on service ; but there was no help 
for it, for I could not sit a horse. 

That day the 3rd Bengal and 3rd Punjab Cavalry 
marched thirty-four miles to Robat, in order to establish 
direct heliographic communication with Kandahar. The 
main body halted about half-way, when I again reported 
progress as follows : 

' Shahr-i-Safa, 

' 21th August, 1880. 
1 My force arrived here to-day. I received a letter yesterday, dated 
25th, from Colonel St. John. He writes : " The rumours of the 
approach of your force have been sufficient to relieve the city from 
investment. On Monday night the villages on the east and south were 
abandoned by their mixed garrisons of ghazis and regulars. Yesterday 
morning Ayub struck his camp, and marched to a position on the 
Argandab, between Baba Wali and Sheikh Chela, due north of the city, 
and separated from it by a range of rocky hills. He has about 4,000 


Infantry regulars, six 12-pounders and two 9-pounders rifled, four 
6-pounder smooth-bore batteries, and one 4-pounder battery, 2,000 
sowars, and perhaps twice that number of ghazis, of whom a third have 
firearms. The Kizilbashes and Kohistanis in his army, about 1,200 
Infantry and 300 Cavalry, offered to desert and join us directly we 
made a show of attack. They are at last aware of Abdur Eahman's 
succession, but I think Ayub will remain unmolested until the arrival 
of the Kabul force, provided he waits, which is unlikely. He will, I 
expect, strike away north into Khakrez, on which line a vigorous 
pursuit will give us his guns. Maclaine, Eoyal Horse Artillery, is still 
a prisoner ; I am making every effort to obtain his release, but I am 
not very hopeful of success. This morning, the 25th, I went to the 
field of the unlucky sortie of the 16th, and found the bodies of the poor 
fellows who fell there, some forty in number ; they will be buried this 
afternoon. All the wounded are doing well. No signs or tidings of 
Phayre." General Gough, with two regiments of Cavalry, is at Kobat ; 
they are in heliographic communication with Kandahar. General 
Primrose heliographs that Ayub Khan has entrenched his camp at 
Baba Wali. The force marches for Eobat to-morrow, seventeen miles 
distant from Kandahar.' 

The following day the column joined the two Cavalry- 
regiments at Eobat, where I was met by Lieutenant- Colonel 
St. John, from whom I heard that Ayub Khan was likely to 
make a stand. I thought it prudent, therefore, to halt on 
Sunday, the 29th, and divide the last twenty miles into two 
short marches, in order that the men and animals might 
arrive as fresh as possible, and fit for any work which 
might be required of them ; for should Ayub Khan 
retire towards Herat, he would have to be followed up, 
and his army attacked and defeated wherever we might 
overtake him. 

Before leaving Eobat, a letter arrived from General 
Phayre, which put an end to all hope of his force being 
able to co-operate with mine, for his leading brigade, he 
wrote, had only just got to the Kohjak Pass. This was to 
be regretted, but it was unavoidable. I was well aware 


of the strenuous efforts the gallant Commander had 
made to relieve the beleaguered garrison, and I knew 
if co-operation had been possible it would have been 

We encamped at Momund on the 30th, whence I sent the 
following telegram to Simla : 

' My force arrived here to-day ; we march to Kandahar to- 
morrow. General Primrose heliographs that a letter from Ayub's 
camp brings information that the mother of the late Heir -Apparent, 
Abdulla Jan, with other ladies, has been sent to Zamindawar. 
Arrival of the young Musa Jan in Ayub's camp is confirmed. Hashim 
Khan is also there. The position is being, strengthened, especially 
on the Pir Paimal side, where two guns have been placed with two 
regiments. From former information, I learn that the Baba Wali 
Kotal is occupied by three regiments and two guns. The Kotal-i- 
Murcha is held by the Kabul regiments, and Ayub's own camp is at 
Mazra, where it is said that the majority of his guns are parked. I 
propose to encamp the Infantry to the west of Kandahar immediately 
under the walls, and the Cavalry under the walls to the south. Should 
I hear that Ayub contemplates flight, I shall attack without delay. If, 
on the contrary, he intends to resist, I shall take my own time. The 
country he is occupying is, from description and map, extremely 
difficult and easily defensible, and each separate advance will require 
careful study and reconnaissance to prevent unnecessary loss of life.' 

On the morning of the 31st we marched into Kandahar, 
just over 313 miles from Kabul. The fever, which had 
attacked me rather sharply, had left me extremely weak, 
and I was unable to ride the whole way. I got on my 
horse, however, some distance from Kandahar to meet 
Generals Primrose, Burrows, and Nuttall, who came out to 
receive the column. As we approached the city, the whole 
garrison turned out and gave us a hearty welcome ; officers 
and men, Native and British, crowded round us, loud in 
their expressions of gratitude for our having come so quickly 
to their assistance. We, on our side, were all anxiety to 


learn the particulars about Maiwand, how they had fared 
while invested, and all they could tell us of Ayub Khan, his 
position, strength of his army, etc. 

I confess to being very greatly surprised, not to use a 
stronger expression, at the demoralized condition of the 
greater part of the garrison ;* there were some notable 
exceptions,! but the general bearing of the troops reminded 
me of the people at Agra in 1857. They seemed to con- 
sider themselves hopelessly defeated, and were utterly de- 
spondent ; they never even hoisted the Union Jack until the 
relieving force was close at hand. The same excuses could 
not, however, be made for them, who were all soldiers by 
profession, as we had felt inclined to make for the residents 
of Agra, a great majority of whom were women, children, 
and civilians. The walls \ which completely surrounded 
Kandahar were so high and thick as to render the city 
absolutely impregnable to any army not equipped with a 
regular siege-train. Scaling-ladders had been prepared by 
the enemy, and there was an idea that an assault would 
be attempted ; but for British soldiers to have contem- 
plated the possibility of Kandahar being taken by an 
Afghan army showed what a miserable state of depression 
and demoralization they were in. 

I halted the column for two hours outside the south wall 

* The effective garrison consisted of 1,000 British soldiers, 3,000 
Native soldiers, and fifteen Field guns. 

f One and all bore testimony to the unfailing good behaviour and 
creditable bearing of the Boyal Artillery and the Bombay Sappers and 
Miners, not only during the investment, but in the very trying time of 
the retreat from Maiwand. 

I The walls had an average height of 30 feet, and breadth of 15 feet 
on the north and east fronts. 


of the city, where it was sheltered from the enemy's fire, 
Ayub Khan's position being within long range directly 
north of Kandahar. While the men rested and breakfasted, 
and the baggage animals were being unloaded, fed, and 
watered, I went into the citadel to talk matters over with 
General Primrose and Colonel St. John, and inquire 
whether there was sufficient accommodation for the sick 
men of my force, numbering 940, who needed to be taken 
into hospital. The thermometer now registered 105° F. in 
tents during the day, but the nights were still bitterly cold, 
and the sudden changes of temperature were extremely 
trying to people in bad health. 

On the advice of Lieutenant-Colonel Chapman, whose 
intimate acquaintance with the neighbourhood of Kandahar, 
gained while serving on Sir Donald Stewart's staff, was now 
most valuable to me, I determined to take up a position to 
the west of the city, with my right on the cantonment and 
my left touching Old Kandahar. This enabled me to cover 
the city, gave me command of a good supply of water, 
and placed me within striking distance of Ayub Khan's 

At 10 a.m. the first and third brigades moved off and 
occupied Piquet Hill, Karez Hill, and the north-east spur of 
the hill above Old Kandahar. A few shots were fired at 
the advance guard from distant orchards, and the ground 
proved to be within range of some of the enemy's Field- 
pieces on the Baba Wali Kotal, but it was a case of 
Hobson's choice, as water was not to be found anywhere 
else at a come-at-able distance. 

Large numbers of men were to be seen crowning the 
Baba Wali Kotal, and constructing shelter-trenches along 


the crest of the low black ridge, which jutted out in a 
south-easterly direction from the more lofty range on which 
the kotal is situated. Piquets were immediately sent to 
occupy the northern spur of the Kohkeran Hill command- 
ing the road to Gundigan, the village of Abbasabad, the 
Karez Hill, the village of Chihal Dukhtaran, the greater 
and lesser Piquet Hills, and the village of Kalachi, all of 
which were found to be deserted. 

From a cursory examination of the ground, I satisfied 
myself that any attempt to carry the Baba Wali Kotal by 
direct attack must result in very severe loss, and I deter- 
mined to turn it. But before I could decide how this 
could best be done, it was necessary to ascertain the 
strength and precise extent of the Afghan position. I 
therefore detailed a small party ;* under the command of 
Brigadier-General Hugh Gough, to make as complete a 
reconnaissance as time would allow. In the meantime I 
despatched the following telegram to the authorities at 

Simla : 

' Kandahar, 

' 31st August, 1880. 

' The force under my command arrived here this morning without 
opposition. Enemy are said to be in considerable strength at Mazra, 
but the ridge of hills which divides Kandahar from the Argandab 
completely covers their position, and at present I have only been 
able to ascertain that the Baba Wali Kotal and one or two other 
points on this ridge are held in great strength, and that the enemy 
are busily engaged in defensive works. Reconnaissances are now 
being conducted, and I shall soon, I hope be sufficiently acquainted 
with affairs generally to enable me to arrange for an attack. The 
Kandahar garrison are in good health ; the horses and transport animals 

* Two Royal Artillery guns, 3rd Bengal Cavalry, and 15th Sikhs. 
Lieutenant -Colonel Chapman accompanied the party, and was of great 
assistance to Brigadier- General Gough. 


appear to be in good condition. Major Vandeleur, 7th Fusiliers, has 
died of his wounds ; the remainder of the wounded, both officers and 
men, are generally doing well. The troops from Kabul are in famous 
health and spirits. The assurance of the safety of this garrison enabled 
comparatively short marches to be made from Kelat-i-Ghilzai, which 
much benefited both men and animals. The Cavalry horses and 
Artillery mules are in excellent condition, and the transport animals 
are, as a rule, in very fair order. General Primrose has arranged for 
the sick of the force from Kabul being accommodated inside the city ; 
many of the cases are sore feet ; none are serious. To-morrow the 
telegraph line towards India will commence to be re-constructed, and as 
General Phayre is probably on this side of the Kohjak to-day, through 
communication should soon be restored.' 

The reconnaissance, which started at 1 p.m., proceeded 
towards the high ground immediately above the villages of 
Gundigan and Murghan. Here the Infantry and guns 
were halted, while the Cavalry advanced between two or 
three miles, avoiding the numerous orchards and enclosures, 
and coming out in front of Pir Paimal, which was found to 
be strongly entrenched. 

As soon as the enemy's fire along this line had been 
drawn, the 3rd Bengal Cavalry fell back, admirably handled 
by their Commandant, Lieutenant-Colonel A. Mackenzie. 
In the meantime, two guns of No. 11 Battery 9th Brigade 
were brought into action, partly to test the range, and 
partly to check the enemy, who were passing rapidly into 
the gardens near Gundigan. The Infantry and Artillery 
then retired within the line of piquets, and the moment 
they began to fall back the Afghans came after them in 
great strength ; they were so persistent that I ordered the 
whole of the 3rd Brigade and part of the 1st Brigade under 
arms. The enemy, however, were unable to come to close 
quarters owing to the bold front shown by the 15th Sikhs, 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hennessy, and 


before dark the troops were all back in camp, with a loss of 
five men killed and fifteen wounded. 

From the information obtained by this reconnaissance, 
I found that it was quite practicable to turn the Afghan 
right, and thus place myself in rear of the Baba Wali 
range; I decided, therefore, to attack the position the 
following morning. It was too close to our own camp to 
risk delay. Moreover, I knew that the retrograde move- 
ment of Gough's small body would be construed into a 
defeat by the enemy, who, if we did not move at once, 
would assuredly think that we were afraid to take the 
initiative, and would become correspondingly bold. 

I accordingly issued orders for the troops to breakfast at 
7 a.m., and for one day's cooked rations to be carried by 
the Infantry and two days by the Cavalry and Horse 
Artillery. Brigades were to be in position by eight o'clock, 
tents being previously struck and the baggage stored in a 
walled enclosure. 

The night passed quietly except for occasional bursts of 
musketry along the line of piquets to the west, showing 
that the Afghans were holding the villages they had 
occupied the previous evening. 

[ 362 ] 


The next morning, the 1st September, in accordance 
with instructions from Simla, I assumed command of the 
army in southern Afghanistan. There was no return to 
show the strength or composition of General Phayre's 
column, but the troops at Kandahar all told now amounted 
in round numbers to 3,800 British and 11,000 Native 
soldiers, with 36 guns. 

An hour before daybreak the whole of the troops were 
under arms, and at 6 a.m. I explained to Generals Primrose 
and Eoss and the officers commanding brigades the plan of 
operations. Briefly, it was to threaten the enemy's left 
(the Baba Wali Kotal), and to attack in force by the village 
of Pir Paimal. 

The Infantry belonging to the Kabul column, upon whom 
devolved the duty of carrying the enemy's position, were 
formed up in rear of the low hills which covered the front 
of our camp, their right being at Piquet Hill and their left 
resting on Chitral Zina. The Cavalry of the Kabul column 
were drawn up in rear of the left, ready to operate by 
Gundigan towards the head of the Arghandab, so as to 
threaten the rear of Ayub Khan's camp and his line of re- 
treat in the direction of Girishk. Four guns of E Battery, 


Boyal Horse Artillery, two companies of the 27th Fusiliers, 
and four companies of the 28th Bombay Infantry, were 
placed at the disposal of Brigadier-General Hugh Gough, 
whose orders were to occupy with these troops the position 
above Gundigan, which had been so useful during the 
previous day's reconnaissance, and to push* his Cavalry on 
to the Arghandab. 

Guards having been detailed for the protection of the city, 
the remainder of Lieutenant-General Primrose's troops 
were ordered to be disposed as follows : Brigadier-General 
Daubeny's brigade to occupy the ground between Piquet 
Hill and Chitral Zina as soon as the Infantry of the Kabul- 
Kandahar Field Force advanced to the attack. The 
remnant of Brigadier-General Burrows's brigade, with 
No. 5 Battery, 11th Brigade Boyal Artillery, under Captain 
Hornsby, and the Cavalry under Brigadier-General Nuttall, 
to take up a position north of the cantonment, from which 
the 40-pounders could be brought to bear on the Baba 
Wali Kotal, while the Cavalry could watch the pass, called 
Kotal-i-Murcha, and cover the city. 

From an early hour it was clear that the enemy con- 
templated an offensive movement ; the villages of Gundigan 
and Gundi Mulla Sahibdad were being held in strength, and 
a desultory fire was brought to bear on the British front 
from the orchards connecting these two villages and from 
the Baba Wali Kotal. 

The Bombay Cavalry moved out at 7.30 a.m., and 
Daubeny's brigade at eight o'clock. Burrows's troops 
followed, and shortly after 9 a.m., their disposition being 
completed, Captain Hornsby opened fire upon the kotal, 
which was one mass of ghazis. 


This feint, made by General Primrose's troops, having 
had the effect I had hoped, of attracting the enemy's atten- 
tion, I gave the order for Major- General Boss to make the 
real attack with the 1st and 2nd Brigades of his division. 
The 3rd Brigade, under Brigadier-General Macgregor, I 
placed in front of the village of Abbasabad, with the 
double object of being a reserve to the 1st and 2nd 
Brigades and of meeting a possible counter-attack from 
the Baba Wali Kotal. 

Boss's orders were to advance against Gundi Mulla 
Sahibdad, capture the village, and then drive the enemy 
from the enclosures which lay between it and the low spur 
of Pir Paimal hill. This duty he entrusted to Brigadier- 
General Macpherson, and he directed Brigadier-General 
Baker to advance to the west, to keep touch with the 1st 
Brigade, and to clear the gardens and orchards in his 
immediate front. 

Greig's 9-pounder and Bobinson's 7-pounder (screw 
gun) batteries covered the attack on Gundi Mulla Sahib- 
dad, which was made by the 2nd Gurkhas, under Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Arthur Battye, and the 92nd Highlanders, 
under Lieutenant- Colonel G. Parker, supported by the 
23rd Pioneers, under Lieutenant-Colonel H. Collett, and the 
24th Punjab Infantry, under Colonel F. Norman. The 
village was carried with the utmost gallantry, Highlanders 
and Gurkhas, always friendly rivals in the race for glory, 
by turns outstripping each other in their efforts to be first 
within its walls. The enemy sullenly and slowly withdrew, 
a goodly number of ghazis remaining to the very last to 
receive a bayonet charge of the 92nd. Meanwhile, Baker's 
troops had been threading their way through the narrow 


lanes and loop-holed enclosures which lay in the line of 
their spirited attack ; the resistance they encountered 
was most stubborn, and it was during this advance 
that the 72nd lost their dashing Commander, Lieutenant- 
Colonel F. Brownlow,* Captain Frome, and Lance- 
Sergeant Cameron, the latter a grand specimen of a 
Highland soldier. 

In the 2nd Brigade, the 72nd Highlanders and the 2nd 
Sikhs bore the brunt of the fighting ; they were the leading 
battalions, and frequently had to fix bayonets to carry 
different positions or to check the desperate rushes of the 

After continued and severe fighting, both leading 
brigades emerged at the point of the hill close to Pir 
Paimal, and, wheeling to their right, they pressed rapidly 
on, sweeping the enemy through the thickly - wooded 
gardens which covered the western slopes, until noon, 
when the whole of Pir Paimal was in our possession.! 

During the early part of the advance the Afghans 

* Brownlow's death was a great loss, for throughout the war he had 
frequently distinguished himself as a leader — at the Peiwar Kotal, 
during the operations round Kabul, and notably on the 14th December, 
when he won the admiration of the whole force by his brilliant con- 
duct in the attack on the Asmai heights. 

f The following Native officers, British and Native non-com- 
missioned officers, and Native soldiers were brought forward as having 
been very conspicuous during this part of the fight : 

Colour- Sergeant G. Jacobs - 

72nd Highlanders. 

Colour-Sergeant K. Lauder - 

?> ?> 

Lance-Corporal J. Gordon - 

» »> 

Subadar-Major Gurbaj Sing 

2nd Sikhs. 

Jemadar Alia Sing - 

>? ?> 

Naick Dir Sing 

>j »> 

Sepoy Hakim 

» ') 


collected in great strength on the low hills beneath 
the Baba Wali Kotal, evidently preparing for a rush 
on our guns ; their leaders could be seen urging them 
on, and a portion of them came down the hill, but the 
main body apparently refused to follow, and remained on 
the crest until the position was turned, when they at once 

Having become assured of General Eoss's complete 
success, and seeing that there was now no necessity for 
detaining Macgregor's (the 3rd) brigade to meet a counter- 
attack, I pushed on with it to join Eoss, who, however, 
knowing how thoroughly he could depend upon his troops, 
without waiting to be reinforced, followed up the retreating 
foe, until he reached an entrenched position at the other 
side of the Baba Wali Kotal, where the Afghans made 
another most determined stand. Ghazis in large numbers 
nocked to this spot from the rear, while the guns on the 
kotal were turned round and brought to bear on our men, 
already exposed to a heavy Artillery fire from behind the 
entrenched camp. 

It now became necessary to take this position by storm, 
and recognizing the fact with true soldierly instinct, Major 
White, who was leading the advanced companies of the 
92nd, called upon the men for just one charge more ' to 
close the business.' The battery of screw guns had been 
shelling the position, and, under cover of its fire and 
supported by a portion of the 2nd Gurkhas and 23rd 
Pioneers, the Highlanders, responding with alacrity to 

• Sepoy Taj Sing - - - 2nd Sikhs. 

Sepoy Pertap Sing - - - ,, ,, 

Sepoy Bir Sing - - - 


their leader's call, dashed forward and drove the enemy 
from their entrenchments at the point of the bayonet.* 

Major White was the first to reach the guns, being 
closely followed by Sepoy Inderbir Lama, who, placing his 
rifle upon one of them, exclaimed, ' Captured in the name 
of the 2nd (Prince of Wales' Own) Gurkhas !' 

Whilst the 1st Brigade was advancing towards .the last 
position, a half-battalion of the 3rd Sikhs (belonging to the 
2nd Brigade), under Lieutenant-Colonel G. Money, charged 
a body of Afghans and captured three guns. 

The enemy were now absolutely routed, but, owing to 
the nature of the ground, it was impossible for General 
Boss to realize how complete had been his victory, and he 
fully expected that the enemy would take up a fresh posi- 
tion further on ; he therefore ordered the 1st and 2nd 
Brigades to halt while they replenished their ammunition, 
and then proceeded for about a mile, when they suddenly 
came in sight of Ayub Khan's enormous camp. It was 
entirely deserted, and apparently stood as it had been 
left in the morning when the Afghans moved out to 
the attack. With his camp was captured the whole of 
Ayub Khan's Artillery, thirty-two pieces, including our two 

* During this engagement the following officers and men were 
specially remarked for their gallantry : 

Major G. White - 


92nd Highlanders 

Lieutenant C. Douglas 


5> J> 

Corporal "William McGillvray 

5> >5 

Private Peter Grieve 


»> J» 

Private D. Grey 


?5 )> 

Major Sullivan Becher 


2nd Gurkhas. 

Havildar Gopal Borah 


»> j> 

Sepoy Inderbir Lama 


»> »> 

Sepoy Tikaram Kwas 


»> >> 


Horse Artillery guns* which had been taken at Maiwand 
on the 27th July. 

Further pursuit by the Infantry being valueless, the 
1st and 2nd Brigades halted on the far side of Mazra, 
where I with the 3rd Brigade shortly afterwards joined 

Brigadier-General Hugh Gough, having satisfied himself 
as to the security of our left flank, scouted as far as 
Kohkeran, and then proceeded with the Cavalry of the 
Kabul-Kandahar Field Force to execute the extended move- 
ment entrusted to him. He crossed the Arghandab, and 
pushed round to get in front of the line of the enemy's 
retreat towards Kakrez. Some ghazis and Irregular Afghan 
troops were overtaken, but no Kegular regiments were met 
with, the soldiers having, as is their custom, quickly 
divested themselves of their uniform and assumed the garb 
of harmless agriculturists. 

Ayub Khan himself had fled early in the day with his 
principal Sirdars. 

As I rode into the abandoned camp, I was horrified 
to hear that the body of Maclaine, the Horse Artillery 
officer who had been taken prisoner at Maiwand, was lying 
with the throat cut about forty yards from Ayub Khan's 
own tent. From what I could learn, the latter had not 
actually ordered the murder, but as a word from him 
would have prevented it, he must be held responsible for 
the assassination of an officer who had fallen into his hands 
as a prisoner of war. 

Our losses during the day comprised : killed, 3 British 

* These guns were presented to me by the Indian Government, and 
are now at the Boyal Hospital, Dublin. 

1880] AYUB KHAN'S CAMP 369 

officers,* 1 Native officer, and 36 men ; wounded, 11 British 
officers, 4 Native officers, and 195 men, 18 of whom suc- 
cumbed to their wounds. It was difficult to estimate the 
loss of the enemy, but it must have been heavy, as between 
Kandahar and the village of Pir Paimal alone 600 bodies 
were buried by us. 

With the exception of the 1st Brigade, which remained at 
Mazra for the night to protect the captured guns and 
stores, the troops all returned to camp before 9 p.m.! 

Utterly exhausted as I was from the hard day's work 
and the weakening effects of my late illness, the cieers 
with which I was greeted by the troops as I rode into Ayub 
Khan's camp and viewed the dead bodies of my gallant 
soldiers nearly unmanned me, and it was with a very 
big lump in my throat that I managed to say a few words 
of thanks to each corps in turn. When I returned to 
Kandahar, and threw myself on the bed in the little 
room prepared for me, I was dead-beat and quite un- 
equal to the effort of reporting our success to the Queen 

* The third British officer killed was Captain Straton, 22nd Foot, 
Superintendent of Army Signalling, a most accomplished officer, under 
whose direction signalling as applied to Field Service reached a 
wonderful pitch of perfection. His energy knew no difficulties, and his 
enthusiasm was beyond praise. 

f The ammunition expended by the Kabul-Kandahar Field Force 
on the 31st August and 1st September was : 

Gun - - 102 { Shrapnell shell 78 

/ Common ,, 24 

Rifle - - 57,705 j Martini-Henry 15,129 

I Snider 42,576 

and in addition 313 rounds were fired by the Artillery, and 4,971 rounds 
by the Infantry of the Kandahar Garrison. 

vol. 11. 56 


or to the Viceroy. After an hour's rest, however, knowing 
how anxiously news from Kandahar was looked for both 
in England and India, I managed to pull myself together 
sufficiently to write out and despatch the following 
telegram : 

' Kandahar, 

' 1st September, 1880 (6 p.m.). 

'Ayub Khan's army was to-day defeated and completely dispersed 
with, I hope, comparatively slight loss on our side ; his camp was 
captured, the two lost guns of £ Battery, B Brigade Koyal Horse 
Artillery were recovered, and several wheeled guns of various calibre 
fell to the splendid Infantry of this force ; the Cavalry are still in 
pursuit. Our casualties are : 22nd Foot, Captain Straton, killed ; 
72nd Highlanders, Lieutenant-Colonel Brownlow, Captain Frome, 
killed, Captain Murray and Lieutenant Monro, wounded, 7 men 
killed, 18 wounded; 92nd Highlanders, Lieutenants Menzies and 
Donald Stewart wounded, 11 men killed and 39 wounded ; 2nd Gurkhas, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Battye, and 2nd Sikhs, Major Slater wounded. 
It is at present impossible to ascertain the casualties amongst the 
Native troops, but I have no reason to believe they are excessive ; full 
details will be telegraphed to-morrow. The quite recently murdered 
remains of Lieutenant Maclaine, Boyal Horse Artillery, were found on 
the arrival of the British troops in Ayub Khan's camp. Ayub Khan is 
supposed to have fled towards Herat.' 

It can easily be imagined with what an intense sense of 
relief I awoke on the morning of the 2nd September — the 
march had ended, Kandahar had been relieved, Ayub 
Khan's army had been beaten and dispersed, and there 
was an adequate force in southern Afghanistan to prevent 
further disturbances. 

Amongst the innumerable questions of detail which now 
confronted me was the all-important one, and that which 
caused me greatest anxiety, of how the large body of troops 
hastily concentrated at Kandahar, and for which the 


produce of the country was quite inadequate, were to be 

No supplies and very little forage were procurable 
between Quetta and Kandahar, and in the neighbourhood 
of the latter place there was now hardly anything in the 
shape of food for man or beast to be had for love or money, 
the resources of this part of the country having been 
quite exhausted. Eelief could only be obtained by reducing 
the number of mouths to be fed, and with this object I 
scattered the troops in different directions, to posts as far 
distant from each other as possible, consistent with safety ; 
and in accordance with my promise to the Kabul-Kandahar 
Field Force, that they should not be required to garrison 
Kandahar when the fighting was at an end, I arranged 
to despatch without delay to India the corps which had 
come with me from northern Afghanistan. 

One column proceeded to Maiwand to inter the bodies 
of our soldiers who fell on the 27th July. The Cavalry 
brigade moved with a number of sick men and transport 
animals to Kohkeran. Macgregor's brigade started for 
Quetta on the 8th, and was followed soon after by Baker's 
and Macpherson's brigades. I accompanied Macgregor in 
the hope that the change to Quetta (where I remained 
about a month) would pick me up, and enable me to meet 
Lord Eipon's wish that I should retain the command in 
southern Afghanistan until some satisfactory settlement 
could be arrived at. 

Before leaving Kandahar I issued an order thanking all 
ranks of the Kabul-Kandahar Field Force for the work they 
had so nobly performed, and I had the gratification of 


acknowledging, on their behalf and my own, congratulatory 
messages from the Queen, the Duke of Cambridge, the 
Marquis of Kipon, and many others. On the way to 
Quetta I had the further gratification of being informed by 
the Viceroy that Her Majesty had been graciously pleased 
to make me a G.C.B., and to appoint me Commander-in- 
Chief of the Madras Army. 

I now heard that Abdur Eahman had been finally 
nominated Amir of Kabul on the 10th August, and that 
immediately after the ceremony of installation Sir Donald 
Stewart had marched the whole British force of 6,678 
men of all arms out of Kabul on their return to India. 
Sir Donald left Peshawar to take up his appointment of 
Military Member of Council at Simla on the 31st August, 
and by the 7th September the last of his troops had 
arrived at the former place, except one brigade left as a 
temporary measure in the Khyber Pass. 

At Quetta I stayed with Sir Bobert Sandeman, the 
capable Besident, who by his great personal influence had 
done much to allay excitement amongst the tribes, and 
to prevent serious trouble in Baluchistan and along the 
border. I had never before been to that part of the 
frontier, and I was greatly impressed by the hold Sande- 
man had obtained over the country ; he was intimately 
acquainted with every leading man, and there was not a 
village, however out of the way, which he had not visited. 
' Sinniman sahib,' as the Natives called him, had gained 
the confidence of the lawless Baluchis in a very remarkable 
manner, and it was mainly owing to his power over them 
that I was able to arrange with camel contractors to 


transport to Quetta and Kandahar the huge stocks of 
winter clothing, medical comforts, grain, and the various 
requirements of an army in the field, which had been 
brought by rail to Sibi, and had there remained for want of 
transport to take them further on. 

As the change to Quetta did not benefit me, and as I 
found that, owing to indifferent health, I was unable to 
carry on my duty with satisfaction to myself, I applied to 
be relieved. My request was acceded to, and I started on 
the 12th October for India. 

Hiding through the Bolan Pass I overtook most of the 
regiments of the Kabul-Kandahar Field Force marching 
towards Sibi, thence to disperse to their respective destina- 
tions. As I parted with each corps in turn its band played 
* Auld Lang Syne,' and I have never since heard that 
memory-stirring air without its bringing before my mind's 
eye the last view I had of the Kabul-Kandahar Field Force. 
I fancy myself crossing and re-crossing the river which 
winds through the pass ; I hear the martial beat of drums 
and plaintive music of the pipes ; and I see Eiflemen and 
Gurkhas, Highlanders and Sikhs, guns and horses, camels 
and mules, with the endless following of an Indian army, 
winding through the narrow gorges, or over the intermin- 
able boulders which made the passage of the Bolan so 
difficult and wearisome to man and beast. 

I shall never forget the feeling of sadness with which I 
said good-bye to the men who had done so much for me. I 
looked upon them all, Native as well as British, as my 
valued friends. And well I might, for never had a Com- 
mander been better served. From first to last a grand spirit 


of camaraderie* pervaded all ranks. At the Peiwar Kotal, at 
Charasia, and during the fighting round Kabul, all were 
eager to [close with the enemy, no matter how great 
the odds against them. Throughout the march from 
Kabul all seemed to be animated with but one desire, to 
effect, cost what it might in personal risk, fatigue, or dis- 
comfort, the speedy release of their beleaguered fellow- 
soldiers in Kandahar ; and the unflagging energy and 
perseverance of my splendid troops seemed to reach their 
full height, when they realized they were about to put 
forth their strength against a hitherto successful enemy. 
Their exemplary conduct, too, under circumstances often 
of the most trying nature, cannot be praised in terms too 
strong or too full. Notwithstanding the provocation caused 
by the cruel murder of any stragglers who fell into the 
hands of the Afghans, not one act infringing the rules of 
civilized warfare was committed by my troops. The persons 
and property of the Natives were respected, and full com- 

* The 72nd Highlanders and 5th Gurkhas were brigaded together 
throughout the campaign, and at their return to India the latter regiment 
presented the former with a shield bearing the following inscription : 





in remembrance of 

The Afghan Campaign, 1878 to 1880. 

The gift was entirely spontaneous, and was subscribed for by the 
Native officers, non-commissioned officers, and men. 

In return, the non-commissioned officers and men of the 72nd gave 
the 5th Gurkhas a very handsome ebony, silver-mounted Drum-Major's 


pensation for supplies was everywhere given. In short, the 
inhabitants of the districts through which we passed could 
not have been treated with greater consideration nor with 
a lighter hand, had they proved themselves friendly allies, 
and the conduct of the troops will ever be to me as pleasing 
a memory as are the results which they achieved. 

[ 376] 


On the 15th October I handed over my command to 
Major-General Phayre, and started for England, making, 
by the desire of the Viceroy, a diversion to Simla, where 
Lord Eipon received me most kindly, and, to my great 
pride and pleasure, delivered to me a letter from the Queen- 
Empress, written by Her Majesty's own hand, which con- 
veyed in the most gracious terms the Queen's satisfaction 
at the manner in which the service entrusted to me had 
been performed, thanks to 'the brave officers and men 
under my command,' sorrow ' for those of her gallant 
soldiers who fell for Queen and country,' and anxiety 
for the wounded. Her Majesty also wrote of ' the thrill 
of horror ' with which the news of the fate of Lieutenant 
Maclaine had been received, and concluded with words of 
hope that my own health and that of the troops would 
remain good, and that success might attend us 'till the 
blessings of peace are restored.' 

A gracious letter, truly ! And to me a deeply appreciated 
reward for what I had been able to do. 

I landed at Dover on the 17th November. The reception 
I met with from my countrymen was as enthusiastic as it 
was unexpected and gratifying. After an absence of twelve 


years there must almost always be more or less of sadness 
mingled with the pleasure of the home-coming, and two 
vacant places in my family circle — those of my father and 
sister — cast a deep shadow upon what would otherwise have 
been a most joyous return, for my mother was alive to 
welcome me, and I found my children flourishing and 
my wife well, notwithstanding all the anxiety she had 

I was feted and feasted to almost an alarming extent, 
considering that for nearly two years I had been restricted 
to campaigning diet ; but it surprised me very much to 
find that the kind people, by whom I was so greatly 
honoured, invariably appeared to think the march from 
Kabul to Kandahar was a much greater performance than 
the advance on Kabul the previous autumn, while, to my 
mind, the latter operation was in every particular more 
difficult, more dangerous, and placed upon me as the Com- 
mander infinitely more responsibility. The force with 
which I started from Kuram to avenge the massacre of 
our fellow-countrymen was little more than half the 
strength of that with which I marched to Kandahar. 
Immediately on crossing the Shutargardan I found myself 
in the midst of a hostile and warlike people, entirely de- 
pendent on the country for supplies, heavily handicapped 
by want of transport, and practically as completely cut 
off from communication with India as I was a year later 
on the march to Kandahar. The Afghans' fanatical hatred 
of Europeans had been augmented by their defeats the 
year before, and by the occurrences at Kabul, and they 
looked upon my small column as a certain prey delivered 
into their hands by a sympathizing and all-powerful Allah. 


Before me was Kabul, with its large and well- equipped 
arsenal, defended by an army better organized and more 
highly trained than that possessed by any former Kuler of 
Afghanistan. On all sides of me were tribesmen hurrying 
up to defend the approaches to their capital, and had 
there been on our part the smallest hesitation or delay, 
we should have found ourselves opposed by as formidable 
a combination as we had to deal with two months later at 
Sherpur. Nothing could then have saved the force, not 
one man of which I firmly believe would have ever re- 
turned to tell the tale in India. Worse than all, I had in 
my own camp a traitor, in the form of the Amir, posing 
as a friend to the British Government and a refugee seek- 
ing our protection, while he was at heart our bitterest 
enemy, and was doing everything in his power to make 
my task more difficult and ensure our defeat. 

The march to Kandahar was certainly much longer, the 
country was equally unfriendly, and the feeding of so large 
a number of men and animals was a continual source of 
anxiety. But I had a force capable of holding its own 
against any Afghan army that could possibly be opposed 
to it, and good and sufficient transport to admit of its 
being kept together, with the definite object in view 
of rescuing our besieged countrymen and defeating Ayub 
Khan ; instead of, as at Kabul, having to begin to unravel 
a difficult political problem after accomplishing the defeat 
of the tribesmen and the Afghan army. 

I could only account to myself for the greater amount of 
interest displayed in the march to Kandahar, and the 
larger amount of credit given to me for that undertaking, 
by the glamour of romance thrown around an army of 


10,000 men lost to view, as it were, for nearly a month, 
about the fate of which uninformed speculation was rife 
and pessimistic rumours were spread, until the tension 
became extreme, and the corresponding relief proportionably 
great when that army re-appeared to dispose at once of 
Ayub and his hitherto victorious troops. 

I did not return to India until the end of 1881, six 
weeks out of these precious months of leave having been 
spent in a wild-goose chase to the Cape of Good Hope and 
back, upon my being nominated by Mr. Gladstone's Govern- 
ment Governor of Natal and Commander of the Forces in 
South Africa, on the death of Sir George Colley and the 
receipt of the news of the disaster at Majuba Hill. While 
I was on my way out to take up my command, peace was 
made with the Boers in the most marvellously rapid and 
unexpected manner. A peace, alas! 'without honour,' 
to which may be attributed the recent regrettable state 
of affairs in the Transvaal — a state of affairs which was 
foreseen and predicted by many at the time. My stay 
at Cape Town was limited to twenty-four hours, the 
Government being apparently as anxious to get me away 
from Africa as they had been to hurry me out there. 

In August I spent three very enjoyable and instructive 
weeks as the guest of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor 
of Germany, while the manoeuvres at Hanover and Schleswig- 
Holstein were taking place. 

Shortly before leaving England for Madras, I was asked 
by Mr. Childers, the then Secretary of State for War, 
whether I would accept the appointment of Quartermaster- 
General at the Horse Guards, in succession to Sir Garnet 
Wolseley. The offer, in some ways, was rather a tempta- 


tion to me, for I had a great wish to take part in the 
administration of our army ; and had it been made sooner, 
before my arrangements for going to Madras had been 
completed, I think I should have accepted it at once ; as it 
was, I begged to be allowed to join my new command, and 
leave the question of the Quartermaster- Generalship in 
abeyance until it was about to become vacant. This was 
agreed to, and I started for Madras, taking my wife and 
two little daughters with me, the boy being left at school 
in England. 

On arriving in Madras, on the 27th November, I had the 
pleasure to find myself associated as a colleague in Council 
with Mr. Grant-Duff,* who had recently been appointed 
Governor of the Presidency. We spent a few pleasant 
days with him and Mrs. Grant-Duff at Government House, 
before proceeding to deposit our children at Ootacamund, 
that Queen of Indian Hill-stations, which was to be our 
home for four years. We spent Christmas there, and then 
went to Burma, visiting the Andaman Islands on the way. 
We had on board our ship some prisoners destined for 
that convict settlement, amongst whom cholera unfor- 
tunately broke out a few hours after we left Madras. 
They were accommodated just outside my wife's cabin, 
and their cries and groans were most distressing. Very 
little could be done for them on board, for the Native 
Doctor accompanying us possessed no remedy but castor 
oil ! and as the disease was spreading rapidly, I took upon 
myself to have the party landed at Vizagapatam. The 
cholera patients were put into tents on the sea-shore, under 
the charge of a medical officer, and every arrangement 
* Now Sir Mount- Stuart Grant-Duff, G.C.S.I. 


possible for their comfort and relief was made before we 
proceeded on our journey. 

During our stay at Port Blair, the Head-Quarters of the 
Andaman Administration, we were the guests of the 
hospitable Superintendent, Lieutenant - Colonel Protheroe, 
who had been one of the political officers on my staff in 
Afghanistan. The group of islands forming the settlement 
are extremely beautiful, but it is tropical beauty, and one 
pays the penalty for the luxuriant vegetation in the climate, 
which is very much like a Turkish bath, hot and damp. 
While going through the prisons, I came across some of the 
sepoys of the 29th Punjab Infantry who deserted during 
the advance on the Peiwar Kotal. I was told that they 
were behaving well, and might in time be allowed some 
remission of their sentences. 

A voyage of thirty-six hours brought us to Eangoon, 
where we had the pleasure of meeting and being enter- 
tained by our old friends, Mr. Bernard,* the Chief Com- 
missioner of Burma, and his wife. 

In 1882 Thyetmyo and Tonghu were the two frontier 
stations of Burma, and I had been asked to consider the 
question of the defence of the proposed railway termini at 
these places. I accordingly visited them both, and as I 
thought I foresaw that the lines of railway could not end 
as then contemplated, I recommended that the absolutely 
necessary works only should be attempted, and that these 
should be as inexpensive as possible. Ere many years 
had passed, the line, as I anticipated, was completed to 

The defences of Eangoon had also to be arranged for. 
* Now Sir Charles Bernard, K.C.S.I. 


An examination of the approaches, however, satisfied me 
that no elaborate system of fortification was necessary, and 
that Eangoon's best security lay in her winding, dangerous 
river ; so I gave it as my opinion that, with two small 
batteries at Monkey Point and King's Point, and a couple 
of torpedo-boats, Eangoon would be reasonably safe against 

Before leaving Burma I received letters from H.B.H. the 
Duke of Cambridge and Mr. Childers, in which were re- 
peated the offer of the Quartermaster-Generalship at the 
Horse Guards. But I had by this time begun to like my 
new work, and had no desire to leave Madras ; I therefore 
definitely declined the appointment. 

From Burma we returned to Ootacamund, via Calcutta, 
where we spent a few days with Lord and Lady Bipon and 
Sir Donald and Lady Stewart. 

Life at ' Ooty ' was very pleasant ; such peace and 
repose I had never before experienced ; I thoroughly 
enjoyed the rest after the turmoil of the preceding years, 
and I quite recovered my health, which had been somewhat 
shattered. Unlike other hill-stations, Ootacamund rests on 
an undulating tableland, 7,400 feet above the sea, with 
plenty of room in the neighbourhood for riding, driving, and 
hunting ; and, although the scenery is nothing like as grand 
as in the Himalayas, there are exquisite views to be had, 
and it is more restful and homelike. We made many 
warm friends and agreeable acquaintances, who when our 
time in Madras came to an end presented my wife with a 
very beautiful clock ' as a token of esteem and affection ' ; 
we were very sorry to bid farewell to our friends and 
to our Nilgiri home. 

1882] THE MADRAS ARMY 383 

Each cold season I made long tours in order to acquaint 
myself with the needs and capabilities of the men of the 
Madras Army. I tried hard to discover in them those 
fighting qualities which had distinguished their forefathers 
during the wars of the last and the beginning of the 
present century. But long years of peace, and the security 
and prosperity attending it, had evidently had upon them, 
as they always seem to have on Asiatics, a softening and 
deteriorating effect ; and I was forced to the conclusion 
that the ancient military spirit had died in them, as it 
had died in the ordinary Hindustani of Bengal and the 
Mahratta of Bombay, and that they could no longer with 
safety be pitted against warlike races, or employed outside 
the limits of southern India. 

It was with extreme reluctance that I formed this opinion 
with regard to the successors of the old Coast Army, for 
which I had always entertained a great admiration. For 
the sake of the British officers belonging to the Madras 
Army, too, I was very loath to be convinced of its inferiority, 
for many of them were devoted to their regiments, and 
were justly proud of their traditions. 

However, there was the army, and it was my business 
as its Commander-in-Chief to do all that I possibly 
could towards rendering it an efficient part of the war 
establishment of India. 

Madrassies, as a rule, are more intelligent and better 
educated than the fighting races of northern India, and 
I therefore thought it could not be difficult to teach them 
the value of musketry, and make them excel in it. To this 
end, I encouraged rifle meetings and endeavoured to get 
General Officers to take an interest in musketry inspections, 


and to make those inspections instructive and entertaining 
to the men. I took to rifle-shooting myself, as did the 
officers on my personal staff,* who were all good shots, 
and our team held its own in many exciting matches at 
the different rifle meetings. 

At that time the importance of musketry training was 
not so generally recognized as it is now, especially by the 
senior officers, who had all entered the service in the days 
of 'Brown Bess.' Some of them had failed to note the 
remarkable alteration which the change from the musket 
to the rifle necessitated in the system of musketry instruc- 
tion, or to study the very different conditions under which 
we could hope to win battles in the present day, com- 
pared with those under which some of our most celebrated 
victories had been won. It required time and patience to 
inspire officers with a belief in the wonderful shooting 
power of the Martini-Henry rifle, and it was even more 
difficult to make them realize that the better the weapon, 
the greater the necessity for its being intelligently used. 

I had great faith in the value of Camps of Exercise, and 
notwithstanding the difficulty of obtaining an annual grant 
to defray their cost, I managed each year, by taking 
advantage of the movement of troops in course of relief, 
to form small camps at the more important stations, and 
on one occasion was able to collect 9,000 men together in 
the neighbourhood of Bangalore, where the Commanders- 
in-Chief in India and of Bombay (Sir Donald Stewart and 

* Lieutenant- Colonel G. T. Pretyman, R.A., was Assistant Military 
Secretary until 1884, when he was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
R. Pole-Carew, Coldstream Guards. Lieutenant Neville Chamberlain, 
Central India Horse, and Captain Ian Hamilton, the Gordon High- 
landers, were Aides-de-camp. 


the Hon. Arthur Hardinge) were present — the first and 
last time that the ' three Chiefs ' in India met together at 
a Camp of Exercise. The Sappers and Miners were a 
brilliant exception to the rest of the Madras Army, being 
indeed a most useful, efficient body of men, but as no 
increase to that branch was considered necessary, I 
obtained permission to convert two Infantry regiments 
into Pioneers on the model of the Pioneer Corps of the 
Bengal Army, which had always proved themselves so 
useful on service. Promotion amongst the British officers 
was accelerated, recruits were not allowed to marry, or, if 
married, to have their wives with them, and many other 
minor changes were made whicji did much towards im- 
proving the en ciency of the Native portion of the Madras 
Army ; and I hope I was able to increase the comfort and 
well-being of the British portion also by relaxing irksome 
and useless restrictions, and by impressing upon com- 
manding officers the advisability of not punishing young 
soldiers with the extreme severity which had hitherto been 
considered necessary. 

I had been unpleasantly struck by the frequent Courts- 
Martial on the younger soldiers, and by the dispropor- 
tionate number of these lads to be met with in the 
military prisons. Even when the prisoners happened 
to be of some length of service, I usually found that they 
had undergone previous imprisonments, and had been 
severely punished within a short time of their enlistment. 
I urged that, in the first two or three years of a soldier's 
service, every allowance should be made for youth and 
inexperience, and that during that time faults should, 
whenever practicable, be dealt with summarily, and not 
vol. 11. 57 


visited with the heavier punishment which a Court-Martial 
sentence necessarily carries with it, and I pointed out that 
this procedure might receive a wider application, and 
become a guiding principle in the treatment of soldiers 
generally. I suggested that all men in possession of a 
good-conduct badge, or who had had no entry in their 
company defaulter sheets for one year, should be granted 
certain privileges, such as receiving the fullest indulgence 
in the grant of passes, consistent with the requirements of 
health, duty, and discipline, and being excused attendance 
at all roll-calls (including meals), except perhaps at tattoo. 
I had often remarked that those corps in which in- 
dulgences were most freely given contained the largest 
number of well-behaved men, and I had been assured that 
such indulgences were seldom abused, and that, while they 
were greatly appreciated by those who received them, they 
acted as an incentive to less well conducted men to try 
and redeem their characters. 

The reports of commanding officers, on the results of 
these small ameliorations, after a six months' trial, were so 
favourable that I was able to authorize still further con- 
cessions as a premium on good behaviour. 

The Madras Presidency abounds in places of interest 
connected with our earlier struggles in India, and it was 
possible to combine pleasure with duty in a very delightful 
manner while travelling about the country. My wife 
frequently accompanied me in my tours, and enjoyed as 
much as I did our visits to many famous and beautiful 
places. Madras itself recalled the struggles for supremacy 
between the English and French in the middle of the 
eighteenth century. Arcot reminded one that it was in the 


brilliant capture and still more brilliant defence of the fort 
at that place that Olive's soldierly genius first became 
conspicuous. Trichinopoly and Wandewash made one 
think of Stringer Lawrence's and Eyre Coote's splendid 
services, and while standing on the breach at Seringapa- 
tam, one was reminded of Wellington's early life in India, 
and marvelled how heavily-armed men could have ventured 
to cross the single plank which alone spanned the deep, 
broad ditch of the inner defences. 

I should like to dwell on the architectural wonders of 
Tan j ore and the Caves of Ellora ; the magnificent enter- 
tainments and Princely hospitality accorded to us by the 
Nizam of Hyderabad, the late Maharajas of Mysore and 
Travancore, the Maharaja of Vizianagram, the Kaja of 
Cochin, and many other Kulers of Native States ; the 
delights of a trip along the west coast by the beautiful 
1 back-water,' and the return journey through the glorious 
forests of Cannara and Mysore ; the pleasure of visiting the 
lovely ' White J Lady '* and the wonderful Kaveri falls ; 
but to give my readers any idea of their marvels would 
be to put too great a strain upon their patience, which I 
fear has already been severely taxed. 

The late Maharaja of Travancore was an unusually 
enlightened Native. He spoke and wrote English fluently ; 
his appearance was distinguished, and his manners those of 
a well-bred, courteous English gentleman of the old school. 
His speech on proposing the Queen's health was a model 
of fine feeling and fine expression, and yet this man was 
steeped in superstition. His Highness sat, slightly retired 
from the table, between my wife and myself while dinner 

* The finest of the Gassapa falls. 


was going on ; he partook of no food or wine, but his close 
contact with us (he led my wife in to dinner and took her 
out on his arm) necessitated his undergoing a severe course 
of purification at the hands of the Brahmins as soon as 
the entertainment was over ; he dared do nothing without 
the sanction of the priests, and he spent enormous sums 
in propitiating them. 

Notwithstanding the high civilization, luxury, and 
refinement to be found in these Native States, my visits to 
them strengthened my opinion that, however capable and 
enlightened the Euler, he could have no chance of holding 
his country if deprived of the guiding hand of the British 
Government as embodied in the Besident. It is just that 
control, so light in ordinary times as to be hardly per- 
ceptible, but firm enough when occasion demands, which 
saves the State from being rent by factions and internal 
intrigue, or swallowed up by a more powerful neighbour, 
for, owing to the influence of the Brahmins and the prac- 
tical seclusion which caste prejudices entail, involving 
ignorance of what is taking place immediately outside their 
own palaces, the Native Princes of the less warlike peoples 
would have no chance amidst the anarchy and confusion 
that would follow the withdrawal of British influence. 

A remark made to me by the late Sir Madhava Kao, ex- 
Minister of the Baroda State, which exemplifies my meaning, 
comes back to me at this moment. Sir Madhava was one 
of the most astute Hindu gentlemen in India, and when 
discussing with him the excitement produced by the ' Ilbert 
Bill,' he said: ' Why do you English raise these unneces- 
sary questions? It is your doing, not ours. We have 
heard of the cry, " India for the Indians," which some of 

1884] AN ALLEGORY 389 

your philanthropists have raised in England ; but you have 
only to go to the Zoological Gardens and open the doors 
of the cages, and you will very soon see what would be the 
result of putting that theory into practice. There would 
be a terrific fight amongst the animals, which would end 
in the tiger walking proudly over the dead bodies of the 
rest.' ' Whom,' I inquired, * do you consider to be the 
tiger?' 'The Mahomedan from the North,' was his 

[ 390 


In March, 1885, we again visited Calcutta. The Marquis 
of Eipon had departed, and the Earl of Dufferin reigned 
in his stead. 

Affairs on our north-west and south-east frontiers were 
at this time in a very unsettled state. Indeed, the political 
outlook altogether had assumed rather a gloomy aspect. 
Our relations with the French had become somewhat 
strained in consequence of their interference with Upper 
Burma and our occupation of Egypt ; while Kussia's 
activity in the valley of the Oxus necessitated our looking 
after our interests in Afghanistan. These considerations 
rendered it advisable to increase the army in India by 
11,000 British and 12,000 Native troops, bringing the 
strength of the former up to nearly 70,000, with 414 guns, 
and that of the latter to 128,636. 

Bussia's movements could not be regarded with in- 
difference, for, while we had retreated from our dominating 
position at Kandahar, she had approached considerably 
nearer to Afghanistan, and in a direction infinitely 
more advantageous than before for a farther onward 
move. Up to 1881 a Bussian army advancing on 
Afghanistan would have had to solve the difficult problem 


of the formidable Hindu Kush barrier, or if it took the 
Herat line it must have faced the deserts of Khiva and 
Bokhara. But all this was changed by Skobeloff's victories 
over the Tekke Turkomans, which gave Merv and Sarakhs 
to Bussia, and enabled her to transfer her base from 
Orenburg to the Caspian — by far the most important step 
ever made by Bussia in her advance towards India. 
I had some years before pointed out to the Govern- 
ment of India how immeasurably Bussia would gain, if by 
the conquest of Merv — a conquest which I then looked 
upon as certain to be accomplished in the near future — 
she should be able to make this transfer. My words were 
unheeded or ridiculed at the time, and I, like others who 
thought as I did, was supposed to be suffering from a 
disease diagnosed by a distinguished politician as ' Merv- 
ousness.' But a little later those words were verified. 
Merv had become a Bussian possession, and Turkestan 
was in direct communication by rail and steamer with 
St. Petersburg. And can it be denied that this fact, which 
would have enabled the army in the Caucasus to be rapidly 
transported to the scene of operations, made it possible 
for General Komaroff practically to dictate terms to the 
Boundary Commission which was sent to define the 
northern limits of Afghanistan, and to forcibly eject an 
Afghan garrison from Panjdeh under the eyes of British 
officers ? 

Lord Dufferin took up the reins of the Government of 
India at a time when things had come to such a pass that a 
personal conference with the Amir was considered necessary 
to arrange for the defence and demarcation of His High- 
ness' s frontier, the strengthening of Herat, the extension of 


the Sakkur-Sibi railway to Quetta, and the discussion of the 
general situation. Abdur Eahman was therefore invited to 
meet the Viceroy at Kawal Pindi, where a large standing 
camp was prepared, and my wife and I were bidden amongst 
a numerous company, including Their Royal Highnesses 
the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the Ruling Punjab 
Chiefs, and the high officers of Government from various 
parts of India, to be the guests of His Excellency and 
Lady Dufferin on the interesting occasion. 

The meeting was fixed for the end of March, and as 
there was scarcely time for us to return to Madras and get 
back again before then, we proceeded leisurely up country, 
visiting different places and one or two old friends on the way. 

At Multan I received a cipher telegram from Sir Donald 
Stewart informing me that it had been decided to mobilize 
two Army Corps, and that I was to have command of the 
first. This was exciting news, and we lost no time in 
making our way to Rawal Pindi, where we should be in 
direct communication with Head-Quarters, and hoped to 
hear what had taken place since we left Calcutta to make 
it necessary to prepare for war. 

I soon found out that this action on the part of the 
Government was forced on them by the representatives of 
Russia on the Boundary Commission, who were persistent 
in their attempts to encroach on Afghan territory, in order 
that they might be in a position to control the approaches 
to Herat, a Russian occupation of which fortress we could 
not permit. 

Abdur Rahman arrived at Rawal Pindi on the last day 
of March ; he was about forty-five years of age, and although 
he required a stick to walk with, being a martyr to rheu- 


London : ' m:1890 


matism, and very stout, his appearance was decidedly 
dignified and imposing. He had a manly, clever, and 
rather handsome face, marred only by the cruel expression 
of the mouth, and his manner was sufficiently courteous 
though somewhat abrupt. 

Several semi-private meetings took place between the 
Viceroy and the Amir, at the first of which His Highness, 
after expressing his appreciation of the flattering and 
cordial reception he had met with, reminded Lord Dufferin 
that he had consistently warned the British Government of 
the approach of the Eussians towards Afghanistan and of the 
unsettling effect their advance was producing on the minds 
of his countrymen; and he advocated the necessity for 
timely action. No attention, he said, had been paid to his 
warnings, owing, probably, to the strife of parties in 
England, and to the excessive caution of the British 

Lord Dufferin, in reply, pointed out that the Amir 
had been advised to strengthen northern Afghanistan, and 
that the services of Engineer officers had been offered to 
him for the purpose of putting Herat into a satisfactory 
state of defence. His Excellency declared that England 
was resolved that a Russian advance on Herat should be 
met by a declaration of war ; that preparations were then 
being made to give effect to that resolve ; and that it was 
now absolutely necessary for His Highness to make up his 
mind which of his two powerful neighbours he would elect 
to choose as his ally. 

Abdur Eahman thanked the Viceroy for his offer of help, 
but showed plainly that he had no intention of avail- 
ing himself of the services of our Engineers. He vowed 


that his own personal wishes were entirely in favour of a 
close and practical alliance with the British, but that his 
subjects did not share his feelings towards us. They were 
'rude, uneducated, and suspicious.' He hoped that in time 
they might become more disposed to be friendly, but at 
present he could not pretend to rely upon them. He 
then disclosed the real reason for his ready response to 
the Viceroy's invitation by saying that he would gratefully 
receive the , assistance of the British Government in the 
shape of money, arms, and munitions of war. 

At a later visit the conversation turned upon the diffi- 
culty of the position in which the British members of the 
Boundary Commission were placed, and the impossibility 
of the Afghan posts being able to hold their own in the 
face of a Bussian advance was explained to the Amir. 
A map was produced, on which the country to the north 
of Herat was carefully examined, and Kussia's claims 
were made known to him. Abdur Bahman's ideas of 
topography were not very accurate, but he displayed 
considerable intelligence in his questions and perception 
of the meaning of the answers, and eventually expressed 
his willingness to leave the question of the delimitation 
of his northern frontier in the hands of the British 

On the 6th April there was a parade of the troops, 
17,000 in number, and that evening the Amir was 
present at a state banquet, at which, after the usual 
loyal toasts, the Viceroy proposed the Amir's health. 
His Highness, in reply, expressed a fervent hope that 
the prosperity of the British Empire might long endure, 
as with it the welfare of Afghanistan was bound up. He 


had watched, he said, the progress of India under British 
rule, and he hoped that Afghanistan might flourish in like 
manner ; and he ended with a prayer that the Almighty 
would preserve Her Majesty's troops in safety, honour, and 

Two days later the Amir was publicly received in durbar 
by the Viceroy, on whose right hand he was placed, while 
the Duke of Connaught occupied the seat on his left. 
After a few words had been exchanged, Abdur Kahman 
rose, and spoke as follows : ' I am deeply sensible of the 
kindness which I have received from His Excellency the 
Viceroy, and of the favour shown me by Her Majesty the 
Queen-Empress. In return for this kindness and favour, 
I am ready with my army and people to render any 
services that may be required of me or of the Afghan 
nation. As the British Government has declared that it 
will assist me in repelling any foreign enemy, so it is right 
and proper that Afghanistan should unite in the firmest 
manner, and side by side by the British Government.' 

On being presented, amongst other gifts, with a sword 
of honour, he said in a loud and determined voice : ' With 
this sword I hope to smite any enemy of the British 

That same evening the Viceroy received news of the 
Russian attack on Panjdeh, and communicated it to 
the Amir, who heard it with extraordinary equanimity, not 
appearing to attach any great importance to the matter, 
and attributing the defeat of his troops to the inferiority 
of their weapons. He observed that the excuse given by 
the Russians, that the Afghans intended to attack them, 
was a frivolous pretext, and declared all that his men had 


done was very properly to make preparations to defend 

Abdur Kahman had expressed a desire for a British 
decoration, so shortly before his departure from India he 
was invested, informally, with the G. C.S.I. As the train 
was moving off, he said to the British officers assembled on 
the platform : ' I wish you all farewell, and commend you to 
the care of God. May your Government endure and your 
honour increase. I have been greatly pleased and gratified 
by the sight of the British Army. I hope and am certain 
that the friendship now existing between us will last for ever.' 

Abdur Kahman had, indeed, every reason to be satisfied 
with the result of his visit, for not only was Lord 
Eipon's promise that England would defend his kingdom 
against foreign aggression ratified by Lord Dufferin, but 
the Amir was given, in addition to the large sums of 
money and the considerable amount of munitions of war 
already received by him, ten lakhs of rupees, 20,000 
breech-loading rifles, a Heavy battery of four guns and 
two howitzers, a Mountain battery, and a liberal supply 
of ammunition for both guns and rifles. 

On the Amir's departure the great camp was broken up, 
and the troops returned to their respective stations, all pre- 
pared to move towards the Quetta frontier at a moment's 
notice. The Native Chiefs, in taking their leave of the 
Viceroy, were profuse in their offers and promises of help 
should a recourse to arms be found necessary ; and Lord 
and Lady Dufferin' s numerous guests, who, like my wife 
and myself, had for more than a fortnight been recipients 
of the most profuse hospitality, wished their generous host 
and hostess a hearty good-bye. 



Interesting as the whole proceeding had been, by far the 
most gratifying result of the gathering was the unmistak- 
able loyalty displayed by the Native Eulers who were 
present, as well as by those in distant parts of India, on 
hearing of the unprovoked attack made by the Eussians on 
the Afghan troops at Panjdeh, and our consequent prepara- 
tions for war. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed, and the 
various military camps at Eawal Pindi were crowded with 
men desirous of joining the ranks of our army. I was 
literally besieged by old soldiers, begging that they might 
be allowed to return to the colours and tight once more for 
the Sirkar ; and one Native officer, who had been with me 
in Afghanistan, came to me and said : ' I am afraid, sahib, 
I am too old and infirm to do more work myself ; but you 
must take my two sons with you — they are ready to die for 
the Angrese.'* 

We hastened back to Madras, and reached Ootacamund 
after seven consecutive nights in the train, with a ther- 
mometer at 104° in the daytime, the only pause in our 
journey being at Poona, where we spent a few hours with 
our friend General Sir John Eoss. 

I left my horses at Lahore, and for some weeks lived in 
daily expectation of being ordered back to the Punjab to 
take command of the 1st Army Corps. A change of 
Government, however, took place just in time to prevent 
the war. Lord Salisbury's determined attitude convinced 
Eussia that no further encroachments on the Afghan 
frontier would be permitted ; she ceased the ' game of brag ' 
she had been allowed to play, and the Boundary Commission 
were enabled to proceed with the work of delimitation. 

* A Native corruption of the word ' English.' 

[ 398 ] 


We only remained three months at ' Ooty,' for on the 
8th July a telegram arrived from Lord Dufferin announcing 
the Queen's approval of my being appointed to succeed Sir 
Donald Stewart as Commander-in-Chief in India, and 
granting me leave to visit England before taking up 
the appointment. 

At the end of a fortnight all our preparations for 
departure had been made, and on the 18th August we left 
Bombay, in the teeth of the monsoon. 

Our boy, whose holidays had just commenced, met us at 
Venice, and we loitered in Italy and Switzerland on our 
way home. I spent but six weeks in England, returning 
to the East at the end of November, to join my new 
command. I met Lord Dufferin at Agra, and accompanied 
him to Gwalior, whither his Excellency went for the pur- 
pose of formally restoring to the Maharaja Scindia the 
much coveted fortress of Gwalior, which had been occupied 
by us since 1858 — an act of sound policy, enabling us to 
withdraw a brigade which could be far more usefully em- 
ployed elsewhere. 

At Gwalior we received the news of the capture of 


Mandalay, and I sent a telegram to Lieutenant-General 
Prendergast,* to congratulate him on the successful conduct 
of the Burma Expedition. 

Affairs in Burma had been going from bad to worse from 
the time King Thebaw came to the throne in 1878. 
Wholesale murders were of constant occurrence within the 
precincts of the palace; dacoity was rife throughout the 
country, and British officers were insulted to such an 
extent that the Kesident had to be withdrawn. In 1883 a 
special Mission was sent by the King of Burma to Paris, 
with a view to making such a treaty with the French 
Government as would enable him to appeal to France for 
assistance, in the event of his being involved in difficulties 
with England. The Mission remained eighteen months in 
Paris, and succeeded in ratifying what the French called a 
1 Commercial Convention,' under the terms of which a 
French Consul was located at Mandalay, who soon gained 
sufficient ascendency over King Thebaw to enable him to 
arrange for the construction of a railway between Mandalay 
and Tonghu, and the establishment of a French bank at 
Mandalay, by means of which France would speedily have 
gained full control over the principal sources of Burmese 
revenue, and power to. exclude British trade from the 
valley of the Irrawaddy. In furtherance of these designs, 
the King picked a quarrel with a British trading 
company, threatened to cancel their leases for cutting 
timber, and demanded a fine of ten lakhs of rupees. 

The Chief Commissioner proposed arbitration, but this 
was declined, and the King refusing to modify his action 
with regard to the trading company, the Viceroy proposed 

* Now General Sir Harry Prendergast, V.C., K.C.B. 


to the Secretary of State for India that an ultimatum* 
should be sent to King Thebaw. 

In approving of the ultimatum, Lord Eandolph Churchill 
expressed his opinion that its despatch should be con- 
current with the movement of troops and ships to Eangoon, 
that an answer should be demanded within a specified 
time, and that, if the ultimatum were rejected, an 
immediate advance on Mandalay should be made. 

A force! of nearly 10,000 men and 77 guns, under the 
command of Lieutenant- General Prendergast, was accord- 
ingly ordered to be in readiness at Thyetmyo by the 
14th November, and as the reply of the Burmese Govern- 
ment was tantamount to a refusal, Prendergast was in- 
structed to advance on Mandalay, with the result which 
it was ray pleasant duty to congratulate him upon in my 
capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Army in India. 

From Gwalior I went to Delhi to prepare for a Camp 
of Exercise on a much larger scale than had ever before 
been held. Many weak points in the Commissariat and 
Transport Department having become only too apparent 
when the mobilization of the two Army Corps had been 

* The ultimatum informed King Thebaw that the British Govern- 
ment insisted upon an Envoy being received at Mandalay, with free 
access to the King, without having to submit to any humiliating 
ceremony; that proceedings against the trading company would not 
be permitted ; that a British Agent, with a suitable guard of honour 
and steamer for his personal protection, must be permanently stationed 
at the Burmese capital ; that the Burmese Government must regulate 
their external relations in accordance with British advice ; and that 
proper facilities must be granted for the opening up of British trade 
with China via Bhamo. 

t The force consisted of 364 seamen and 69 Marines formed into a 
Naval Brigade, with 49 guns, including 27 machine guns, and 3,029 
British and 6,005 Native soldiers, with 28 guns. 


imminent the previous spring, it was considered necessary 
to test our readiness for war, and orders for the strength 
and composition of the force to be manoeuvred had been 
issued before Sir Donald Stewart left India. 

The troops were divided into two Army Corps. The 
northern assembled at Umballa, and the southern at 
Gurgaon, 25 miles from Delhi, the points of concentration 
being 150 miles apart. 

After a fortnight passed in brigade and divisional 
movements, the opposing forces advanced, and on the 
7th January they came into contact on the historic battle- 
field of Panipat.* 

Lord Dufferin, whose interest in the efficiency of the 
army induced him to come all the way from Calcutta 
to witness the last two days manoeuvres, was present — 
with the twelve ' foreign officers ' t from the principal 
armies of Europe and America, who had been invited to 
attend the camp — at a march-past of the whole force of 
35,000 men on the 18th. It was a fine sight, though 
marred by a heavy thunderstorm and a perfect deluge of 
rain, and was really a greater test of what the troops could 
do than if we had had the perfect weather we had hoped 

* Panipat is famous for three great battles fought in its immediate 
neighbourhood : one in 1526, by the Emperor Baber against Sultan 
Ibrahim, which resulted in the establishment of the Mogul dynasty ; 
the second in 1556, when the Emperor Akbar beat the Hindu General 
of the Afghan usurper, and re-established the Moguls in power; and 
the third in 1761, when Ahmed Shah Durani defeated the Mahrattas. 

f I was much gratified at receiving subsequently from His Imperial 
Majesty the Emperor William I. and from the Crown Princess of 
Prussia autograph letters of acknowledgment of, and thanks for, the 
reception accorded and the attention paid to Majors von Huene and 
von Hagenau, the two representatives of the German army who 
attended these manoeuvres. 

vol. 11. 58 


for. The * foreign officers ' were, apparently, somewhat 
surprised at the fine physique and efficiency of our Native 
soldiers, but they all remarked on the paucity of British 
officers with the Indian regiments, which I could not but 
acknowledge was, as it still is, a weak point in our military 

When the camp was broken up, I accompanied the 
Viceroy to Burma, where we arrived early in February, 
1886. i Lord Dufferin must, I think, have been pleased at 
the reception he met with at Bangoon. The people gene- 
rally tried in every possible way to show their gratitude to 
the Viceroy, under whose auspices the annexation of Upper 
Burma had been carried out, and each nationality had 
erected a triumphal arch in its own particular quarter of 
the town. 

From Bangoon we went to Mandalay, where Lord 
Dufferin formally announced the annexation by England 
of all that part of Upper Burma over which King Thebaw 
had held sway We then proceeded to Madras, where I 
parted from the Viceregal party and travelled to Bombay to 
meet my wife. Leaving her at Simla to arrange our house, 
which had been considerably altered and added to, I pro- 
ceeded to the North-West Frontier, for the question of its 
defence was one which interested me very deeply, and I 
hoped that, from the position I now held as a member of 
the Government of India, I should be able to get my 
ideas on this, to India, all-important subject listened to, 
if not altogether carried out. 

The defence of the frontier had been considered under 
the orders of my predecessor by a Committee, the members 
of which had recorded their several opinions as to the 


means which should be adopted to make India secure. 
But Sir Donald Stewart relinquished his command before 
anything could be done to give effect to the measures they 

The matter had therefore to be taken up afresh by 
me, and I carefully studied the recommendations of the 
' Defence Committee ' before visiting the frontier to refresh 
my memory by personal inspection as to the points to be 

It seemed to me that none of the members, with the 
exception of Sir Charles Macgregor and the secretary, 
Major W. G. Nicholson, at all appreciated the great change 
which had taken place in our position since the near 
approach of Eussia, and our consequent promise to the 
Amir to preserve the integrity of his kingdom, had widened 
the limit of our responsibilities from the southern to the 
northern boundary of Afghanistan. 

Less than a year before we had been on the point of 
declaring war with Eussia because of her active inter- 
ference with ' the authority of a sovereign — our protected 
ally — who had committed no offence*;' and even now it 
was not certain that peace could be preserved, by reason 
of the outrageous demands made by the Eussian members 
of the Boundary Commission as to the direction which the 
line of delimitation between Eussian and Afghan territory 
should take. 

It was this widening of our responsibilities which pre- 
vented me from agreeing with the recommendations of the 

* Words used by Mr. Gladstone when asking for a vote of credit 
for £6, 500,000 for special preparations in connexion with the Afghan 


Defence Committee, for the majority of the members laid 
greater stress on the necessity for constructing numerous 
fortifications, than upon lines of communication, which I 
conceived to be of infinitely greater importance, as afford- 
ing the means of bringing all the strategical points on the 
frontier into direct communication with the railway system 
of India, and enabling us to mass our troops rapidly, should 
we be called upon to aid Afghanistan in repelling attack 
from* a foreign Power. 

Fortifications, of the nature of entrenched positions, 
were no doubt, to some extent, necessary, not to guard 
against our immediate neighbours, for experience had 
taught us that without outside assistance they are in- 
capable of a combined movement, but for the protection of 
such depots and storehouses as would have to be con- 
structed, and as a support to the army in the field. 

The line chosen at that time for an advance was by 
Quetta and Kandahar. In the first instance, therefore, I 
wended my way to Baluchistan, where I met and consulted 
with the Governor-General's Agent, Sir Robert Sandeman, 
and the Chief Engineer of the Sind-Pishin Railway, 
Brigadier-General Browne.* 

We together inspected the Kwaja-Amran range, through 
which the Kohjak tunnel now runs, and I decided that the 
best position for an entrenched camp was to the rear of 
that range, in the space between the Takatu and Mashalik 
mountains. This open ground was less than four miles 
broad ; nature had made its flanks perfectly secure, and in 

* The late Major- General Sir James Browne, K.C.S.I., C.B., who, 
like Sir Bobert Sandeman, died while holding the important and 
responsible position of Governor-General's Agent in Baluchistan. 


front was a network of ravines capable of being made quite 
impassable by simply flooding them. It was unfortunate that 
the railway had been marked out in front instead of in rear 
of the Takatu range, and that its construction was too far 
advanced before the question of defence came to be con- 
sidered to admit of its being altered, otherwise this position 
would have been a complete protection for the line of rail also. 

Having come to a definite conclusion as to the measures 
to be taken for meeting the offensive and defensive require- 
ments of Quetta and the Bolan Pass, I turned my attention 
to Peshawar and the Khyber Pass, which were infinitely 
more difficult to deal with, because of the political con- 
siderations involved. 

Over the whole of Baluchistan we had entire control, 
so that in the event of an army moving in that direction 
we could depend upon the resources of the country being at 
our disposal, and the people remaining, at least, neutral. 
But on the Peshawar side the circumstances were altogether 
different : the tribes were hostile to a degree, and no 
European's life was safe across the frontier. Except 
in the Khyber itself (where the policy of establishing 
friendly relations with the Afridis, and utilizing them to 
keep open the pass, had been most successfully practised 
by the political officer, Lieutenant- Colonel War burton), 
we could not depend on the tribesmen remaining passive, 
much less helping us if we advanced into Afghanistan. 
While, should an army attempt to invade India from that 
direction, we should to a certainty have every man of the 
200,000 warlike people who inhabit the mountainous 
district from Chitral to Baluchistan combining against us, 
and pouring into India from every outlet. 


For these reasons I recorded a strong opinion in opposi- 
tion to the proposals of the Defence Committee, which were 
in favour of the construction of a large magazine at 
Peshawar and extensive entrenched works at the mouth of 
the Khyber. I pointed out the extreme danger of a 
position communication with which could be cut off, and 
which could be more or less easily turned, for it was clear 
to me that until we had succeeded in inducing the border 
tribes to be on friendly terms with us, and to believe that 
their interests were identical with ours, the Peshawar valley 
would become untenable should any general disturbance 
take place ; and that, instead of entrenchments close to 
the Khyber Pass, we required a position upon which the 
garrisons of Peshawar and Nowshera could fall back and 
await the arrival of reinforcements. 

For this position I selected a spot on the right bank of the 
Kabul river, between Khairabad and the Indus ; it com- 
manded the passage of the latter river, and could easily be 
strengthened by defensive works outside the old fort of 

It will be readily understood by those of my readers 
who have any knowledge of our North-West Frontier, or are 
interested in the question of the defence of India, that 
other routes exist between the Bolan and the Khyber Passes 
which might be made use of either by an army invading 
India, or by a force sent from India to the assistance of 
Afghanistan ; and by such it will probably be asked, as 
was the case when my recommendations were being dis- 
cussed, why I did not advise these lines to be similarly 
guarded. My reply was, and is, that there are no arsenals 
or depots near these passes to be protected, as at Quetta 


and Kawul Pindi ; that we should not be likely to use them 
for an army moving into Afghanistan; that, although 
small parties of the enemy might come by them, the main 
body of a force operating towards India is bound to advance 
by the Khyber, for the reason that it would debouch 
directly on highly cultivated country and good roads lead- 
ing to all the great cities of the Punjab ; and finally that, 
even if our finances would admit of the construction of 
such a long line of forts, it would be impossible for our 
limited army to supply the garrisons for them. 

Having completed my inspection of the frontier, I returned 
to Simla and drew up a memorandum declaring the convic- 
tion I had arrived at after careful deliberation, that the 
improvement of our communications was of far greater 
importance than the immediate construction of forts and 
entrenchments, and that, while I would not spare money in 
strengthening well-defined positions, the strategical value of 
which was unmistakable, I would not trouble about those 
places the primary importance of fortifying which was open 
to argument, and which might never be required to be 
defended ; these, I contended, might be left alone, except 
so far as to make a careful study of their localities and 
determine how they could best be taken advantage of should 
occasion require. My note ended with the following words : 
' Meanwhile I would push on our communications with all 
possible speed ; we must have roads, and we must have 
railways ; they cannot be made on short notice, and every 
rupee spent upon them now will repay us tenfold here- 
after. Nothing will tend to secure the safety of the 
frontier so much as the power of rapidly concentrating 
troops on any threatened point, and nothing will strengthen 


our military position more than to open out the country 
and improve our relations with the frontier tribes. There 
are no better civilizers than roads and railways ; and 
although some of those recommended to be made may 
never be required for military purposes, they will be of 
the greatest assistance to the civil power in the administra- 
tion of the country.' 

Accompanying this paper was a statement of the defen- 
sive works which, in my opinion, should be taken in hand 
without delay ; also of the positions which required careful 
study, and the roads and railways which should be con- 
structed, to make the scheme of defence complete. 

Seven years later, when I gave up my command of the 
Army in India, I had the supreme satisfaction of knowing 
that I left our North-West Frontier secure, so far as it was 
possible to make it so, hampered as we were by want of 
money. The necessary fortifications had been completed, 
schemes for the defence of the various less important 
positions had been prepared, and the roads and railways, 
in my estimation of such vast importance, had either been 
finished or were well advanced. 

Moreover, our position with regard to the border tribes 
had gradually come to be better understood, and it had 
been realized that they would be a powerful support to 
whichever side might be able to count upon their aid ; the 
policy of keeping them at arm's length had been aban- 
doned, and the advantages of reciprocal communication 
were becoming more appreciated by them and by us. 

It was not to be expected that these results could be 
achieved without a considerable amount of opposition, 
owing partly to the majority of our countrymen (even 
amongst those who had spent the greater part of their 


lives in India) failing to recognize the change that had 
taken place in the relative positions of Great Britain 
and Eussia in Asia, and to their disbelief in the steady 
advance of Eussia towards Afghanistan being in any 
way connected with India, or in Eussia's wish or power 
to threaten our Eastern Empire.* The idea was very 
common, too, amongst people who had not deeply con- 
sidered the subject, that all proposals for gaining control 
over our troublesome neighbours on the border, or for 
facilitating the massing of troops, meant an aggressive 
policy, and were made with the idea of annexing more 
territory, instead of for the purpose of securing the safety of 
India, and enabling us to fulfil our engagements. 

Happily, the Viceroys who governed India while I was 
Commander-in-Chief were not amongst those who held 
these opinions ; and while they had no expectation of 
India being invaded in the near future, they realized 
that we could not unconcernedly look on while a great 
Power was, step by step, creeping closer to our possessions. 
It was a fortunate circumstance, too, that, for the first five 
years I was at the head of the Army in India, I had as my 
military colleague in Council the late General Sir George 
Chesney, a man of unquestionable talent and sound judg- 
ment, to whose cordial support, not only in frontier affairs, 
but in all my efforts to promote the efficiency and welfare 
of the soldier, I was very greatly indebted. 

* A Statesman of high reputation in England was so strong in his 
disbelief of the necessity for making any preparations in India, that 
he publicly stated that if the only barrier between Russia in Asia and 
Britain in Asia were a mountain ridge, or a stream, or a fence, there 
would be no difficulty in preserving peace between Russia and the 
United Kingdom. — Speech delivered by the Right Hon. John Bright, 
M.P., at Birmingham on the 16th April, 1879. 

[ 4 J o ] 


Many interesting and important questions had to be 
dealt with during this my first year as a member of the 
Viceroy's Council, and it was pleasant to me to be able 
to bring before the Government of India a scheme which 
my wife had had very much at heart for many years — for 
supplying skilled nursing to the military hospitals in India. 
That our sick soldiers (officers and men) should be entirely 
dependent for nursing, even in times of the most dangerous 
illness, on the tender mercies of ' the orderly on duty,' who, 
whether kind-hearted or the reverse, was necessarily utterly 
untrained and ignorant of the requirements of sickness, was 
a source of unhappiness to her, and had been felt as a cruel 
want by many ; but whenever she had discussed the subject 
with those who might have helped her, she was told that 
proposals for supplying this want had already been made, 
that the Government could not, nor would they ever be able 
to, act on such proposals, on account of the prohibitory 
expense, so she felt there was no use in making any appeal 
until I might be in a position to see that any suggestions 
made by her would be certain to receive the careful con- 
sideration of Government. This time had now arrived, 
and almost directly Lady Eoberts returned to India in 


1886 she drew up a scheme for supplying lady nurses 
to the military hospitals throughout India, and set to work 
to try and get the support of some of the principal Medical 
officers. To her great joy, her recommendations were 
accepted by Lord Dufferin and his Council, and her note 
upon the subject was sent home to the Secretary of State, 
strongly backed up by the Government of India. Lord 
Cross happily viewed the matter in a favourable light, and 
consented, not only to a certain number of nurses being 
sent out the following year as an experiment, but to the 
whole of the cost of the movement being borne by the 
State, with the exception of the provision of ' Homes in the 
Hills ' for the nursing sisters as health resorts, and to 
prevent the expense to Government of their having to be 
sent home on sick-leave when worn out by their trying work 
in the plains. The Secretary of State, however, declared 
these ' Homes ' to be ' an important part ' of the nursing 
scheme, ' and indispensable to its practical working,' but 
considered that they should be provided by private sub- 
scription, a condition my wife undertook to carry out. She 
appealed to the Army in India to help her, and with 
scarcely an exception every regiment and battery generously 
responded — even the private soldiers subscribed largely in 
proportion to their small means — so that by the beginning 
of the following year my wife was able to set about pur- 
chasing and building suitable houses. 

'Homes' were established at Murree, Kasauli and 
Quetta, in Bengal, and at Wellington* in Madras, and 

* The homes at Quetta and Wellington were eventually taken over 
by Government, and Lady Koberts' nurses, who worked in the military 
hospitals at these stations, were replaced by Government nurses when 


by making a further appeal to the officers of the army, and 
with the assistance of kind and liberal friends in England 
and India, and the proceeds of various entertainments, Lady 
Eoberts was able to supply, in connexion with the ' Homes ' 
at Murree and Kasauli, wards for the reception of sick officers, 
with a staff of nurses* in attendance, whose salaries, 
passages, etc., are all paid out of ' Lady Eoberts's Fund.' 
My wife was induced to do this from having known many 
young officers succumb owing to want of care and improper 
food at hotels or clubs on being sent to the Hills after a 
hard fight for life in the plains, if they were not for- 
tunate enough to have personal friends to look after them. 
Although it is anticipating events, I may as well say here 
that the nursing experiment proved a complete success, 
and now every large military hospital in India has its 
staff of nurses, and there are altogether 4 superintendents, 
9 deputy superintendents, and 39 nursing sisters, in India. 
There are many more wanted in the smaller stations, 
where there is often great loss of life from lack of proper 
nursing, and surely, as my wife pointed out in her first 
appeal, ' when one considers what an expensive article 
the British soldier is, costing, as he does, ^£100 before 
landing in India, it seems certain that on the score of 
economy alone, altogether setting aside the humane aspect 
of the question, it is well worth the State's while to provide 
him with the skilled nursing care ' which has up to now 
saved so many lives. 

the increase to the Army Nursing Service admitted of this being 

* When the ' Homes in the Hills ' are closed during the cold months, 
these nurses attend sick officers in their own houses in the plains, free 
of charge except travelling expenses. 


That officers as well as men might benefit by the 
devotion of the ' nursing sister,' I was able to arrange 
in all the large hospitals for some room, or rooms, used 
until then for other purposes, to be appropriated for an 
officers' ward or wards, and these have proved a great boon 
to the younger officers whose income does not admit of 
their obtaining the expensive care of a nurse from one of 
the large civil hospitals in the Presidency towns. 

The next most interesting question, and also the most 
pressing, which had to be considered by the Viceroy's 
Council during the summer of 1886, was the pacification 
oi Upper Burma. People in England had expressed 
surprise at this being so long delayed. It is extremely 
easy, however, to sit at home and talk of what should 
be done, but very difficult to say how to do it, and more 
difficult still to carry it out. To establish law and 
order in a country nearly as large as France, in which 
dacoity is looked upon as an honourable profession, 
would be no light task even in Europe; but when the 
country to be settled has a deadly climate for several 
months in the year, is covered to a great extent with 
jungle, and is without a vestige of a road, the task assumes 
gigantic proportions. In Upper Burma the garrison was 
only sufficient to keep open communication along the line 
of the Irrawaddy, and, to add to the embarrassment of 
the situation, disaffection had spread to Lower Burma, 
and disturbances had broken out in the almost unknown 
district between Upper Burma and Assam. 

It was arranged to send strong reinforcements to Burma 
so soon as the unhealthy season should be over and it would 
be safe for the troops to go there, and Lieutenant- General 


Sir Herbert Macpherson (who had succeeded me as Com- 
mander-in-Chief in Madras) was directed to proceed 

In October my wife and I, with some of my staff, started 
from Simla on a trip across the Hills, with the object of in- 
specting the stations of Dhurmsala and Dalhousie before it 
was cool enough to begin my winter tour in the plains. 
We crossed the Jalaurie Pass, between 11,000 and 12,000 
feet high, and travelling through the beautiful Kulu 
valley and over the Bubbu mountain, we finally arrived at 
Palampur, the centre of the tea industry in the Kangra 
valley. Having been cut off from telegraphic communica- 
tion for some time, we went straight to the telegraph-office 
for news, and found at the moment a message being 
deciphered which brought me the terribly sad information 
that General Macpherson had died of fever in Burma. In 
him the country had lost a good soldier, and I a friend 
and comrade for whom I had a great regard and admira- 
tion. We were discussing his untimely end, and I was 
considering who should replace him, when a second 
message arrived. This was from Lord Dufferin, telling me 
that he wished me to transfer my Head-Quarters to Burma, 
and arrange to remain there until ' the neck of the business 
was broken.' 

I hurried to Calcutta, embarked in the first mail-steamer, 
and landed at Bangoon on the 9th November. 

Sir Charles Bernard (the Chief Commissioner) and 
General White had done well under very difficult circum- 
stances; but owing partly to large districts being im- 
passable from months of heavy rain, and partly to the 
change in Commanders, unavoidable inaction had been 


forced upon our troops, and the dacoits had in consequence 
made head against us. 

Having been in constant correspondence with General 
White, I had been kept informed of his plans, and, as his 
responsible Chief, I had approved of them; I therefore 
had the somewhat complicated military situation at my 
fingers' ends, and did not need to lose a single day in 
arranging for a series of combined movements being 
carried on all over the country. 

It was hoped that the recently arrived reinforcements 
would be sufficient for all requirements, but it soon became 
apparent that the difficulties connected with the pacifica- 
tion of Burma had been underrated, and that, in addition 
to more troops, an efficient civil administration would have 
to be provided, to take the place of military authority so 
soon as anything like organized resistance had been 
crushed ; for to deal with ordinary robbers I conceived 
to be work more suited to police than to soldiers. 
Upwards of thirty years' experience had proved that the 
Burmese could not be relied upon for this kind of service ; 
I therefore recommended that a large body of police 
should be raised in India without delay, and given a 
semi-military organization, and in the meantime I asked 
for, and was given, five additional regiments. 

I felt very confident of success, for I had taken great 
care in the selection of the brigade commanders and staff 
officers, and I knew the troops could be depended upon in 
any emergency that was likely to arise. Nevertheless, as the 
work they would have to perform was of rather an unusual 
character, irksome as well as difficult, I thought it advisable 
to issue some general instructions for the guidance of the 


officers in command of the different columns."* These in- 
structions were carried out so intelligently, and the troops 
did such good service, especially a very fine body of Mounted 
Infantry raised and organized by Major Symons, of the 
South Wales Borderers, that before I returned to India in 
February, 1887, I was able to report that the country was 
gradually becoming quiet and the Burmese reconciled to our 
rule. Most of the principal dacoit leaders had been killed 
or captured, and villages which had been in their hands for 
months were being re-occupied by their legitimate in- 
habitants ; caravans were coming into Mandalay almost 
daily from districts on the Chinese borders ; contracts for 
making roads were readily taken up, and there was no 
difficulty in obtaining labour for the railway then being 
constructed between Lower Burma and Mandalay, the first 
sod of which was turned within a month of my arrival at 
that place. 

In achieving these satisfactory results I was materially 
aided by the hearty co-operation of Sir Charles Bernard 
and the civil officers serving under him ; while the entire 
absence of fanaticism amongst the Burmese, and their 
cheerful, happy natures, facilitated our intercourse with 
them. I received, besides, most valuable assistance from 
the Buddhist Poonghies, or monks, with many of whom I 
made friends. From the fact that education, secular and 
religious, is imparted by these monks, and that every male, 
from the King to the humblest peasant, was obliged to enter 
a monastery and wear the saffron garb of a monk for a 
certain period, the priesthood had enormous influence with 
the Burmese. There are no hereditary Chiefs or Nobles in 

* These instructions are given in the Appendix. 


Burma, the Poonghies being the advisers of the people and 
the centre round which Native society revolves. 

Our occupation of Upper Burma was necessarily a great 
blow to the Buddhist priesthood, for many of the monas- 
teries* were kept up entirely by the King, Queen, and 
Ministers of State ; and, as it was most advisable to have 
the influence of the monks in our favour, I recommended 
that a monthly stipend should be paid to the Archbishop 
and two senior Bishops of Mandalay. They showed their 
gratitude by doing all they could to help me, and when 
I was leaving the country the old Thathanabain (Arch- 
bishop) accompanied me as far as Rangoon. We cor- 
responded till his death, and I still hear occasionally from 
one or other of my Poonghie friends. 

I remained only a short time in Calcutta on my 
return to India, and then started off again for the North- 
West Frontier, in company with General Chesney, who 
had previously expressed his general concurrence in my 
defence proposals, but was anxious to see the several 
positions and judge for himself, from an Engineer's point 
of view, of their suitability to be treated as I suggested. 
It was a great source of contentment to me to find that 
the sites chosen and the style of entrenchments I had 
advocated commended themselves to my expert com- 

Simla was more than usually gay during the summer of 
1887, in consequence of the numerous entertainments given 
in celebration of Her Majesty's Jubilee. We had just added 
a ballroom to ' Snowdon,' and we inaugurated its opening 

* Monasteries in Burma are not merely dwelling-places for the 
monks, but are the schools where all education is carried on. 

vol. 11. 59 


by a fancy ball on the 21st June, in honour of the auspicious 

My name appeared in the Jubilee Gazette as having been 
given the Grand Cross of the Indian Empire, but what I 
valued still more was the acceptance by the Government 
of India of my strong recommendation for the establish- 
ment of a Club or Institute in every British regiment and 
battery in India. In urging that this measure should be 
favourably considered, I had said that the British Army in 
India could have no better or more generally beneficial 
memorial of the Queen's Jubilee than the abolition of that 
relic of barbarism, the canteen, and its supersession by an 
Institute, in which the soldier would have under the same 
roof a reading-room, recreation-room, and a decently- 
managed refreshment-room. 

Lord Dufferin's Government met my views in the most 
liberal spirit, and with the sanction of Lord Cross ' The 
Begimental Institute ' became a recognized establishment, 
a fact which my colleagues in Council referred to as a 
second Jubilee honour for me ! 

At a time when nearly every soldier could read and 
write, and when we hoped to attract to the army men of 
a better stamp and more respectable antecedents than 
those of which it was composed in ' the good old days,' 
it appeared to me a humiliating anachronism that the 
degrading system of the canteen should still prevail, and 
that it was impossible for any man to retain his self- 
respect if he were driven to take his glass of beer under 
the rules by which regimental canteens were governed. I 
believed, too, that the more the status of the rank and file 
could be raised, and the greater the efforts made to provide 


them with rational recreation and occupation in their 
leisure hours, the less there would be of drunkenness, and 
consequently of crime, the less immorality and the greater 
the number of efficient soldiers in the army. 

Funds having been granted, a scheme was drawn up for 
the erection of buildings and for the management of the 
Institutes. Canteens were reduced in size, and such 
attractions as musical instruments were removed to the 
recreation - rooms ; the name ' liquor bar ' was substi- 
tuted for that of 'canteen,' and, that there should be 
no excuse for frequenting the ' liquor bar,' I authorized a 
moderate and limited amount of beer to be served, if re- 
quired, with the men's suppers in the refreshment-room — 
an arrangement which has been followed by the happiest 

At first it was thought that these changes would cause a 
great falling off in regimental funds, but experience has 
proved the reverse. With good management, the profits 
from the coffee-shop and the soda-water manufactory far 
exceed those to be derived from the canteen, and this 
without permitting anyone outside the regiment to purchase 
from the coffee-shop and without interfering at all with local 

Another measure which I succeeded in carrying through 
the same year was the amalgamation of the various sec- 
tarian societies that existed in India for the prevention of 
drunkenness in the army into one undenominational 
society, under the name of the Army Temperance Asso- 
ciation, which I hoped would admit of more united action 
and a more advantageous use of funds, besides making it 
easier for the Government to assist the movement. The 


different religious and ' total abstinence ' associations had 
no doubt done much towards the object they had in view, 
but their work was necessarily spasmodic, and being carried 
on independently of regimental authority, it was not always 
looked upon with favour by officers. 

There was of necessity at first a good deal of opposition 
on the part of the promoters of the older societies, but 
those who were loudest in denouncing my proposals soon 
came to understand that there was nothing in the consti- 
tution of the Army Temperance Association which could 
in any way interfere with total abstinence, and that the 
only difference between their systems and mine consisted 
in mine being regimental in its character, and including 
men for whom it was not necessary or expedient to forego 
stimulants altogether, but who earnestly desired to lead 
temperate lives, and to be strengthened in their resolve 
by being allowed to share in the advantages of the new 

To make the movement a complete success, it was above 
all things important to secure the active co-operation of the 
ministers of the various religions. To this end I addressed 
the heads of the different churches, explaining my reasons 
and the results I hoped to attain in establishing the 
amalgamated association, and I invited them to testify 
their approval of the scheme by becoming patrons of it. 
With two exceptions, the dignitaries to whom I appealed 
accepted my invitation, and expressed sympathy with my 
aims and efforts, an encouragement I had hardly dared to 
hope for, and a proof of liberal-mindedness on the part 
of the prelates which was extremely refreshing. 

The Government of India were good enough to sanction 


the allotment of a separate room in each soldiers' Institute 
for the exclusive use of the Association, where alcohol in 
any shape was not admitted, and to the grant of this room 
I attribute, in a great measure, the success of the under- 
taking. The success was proved by the fact that, when I 
left India, nearly one third of the 70,000 British soldiers in 
that country were members or honorary members of the 
Army Temperance Association. 

[ 422 ] 


In December I made a prolonged tour along the North- 
West Frontier, accompanied by my wife, who was greatly 
delighted at being able at last to see many places and meet 
many people, of whom she had often heard me speak. 
Part of this trip was made in company with the Viceroy 
and Lady Dufferin, who visited all the principal stations on 
the frontier, including Quetta. I rode with Lord Dufferin 
through the Khyber Pass, and to the top of the Kwaja 
Amran range, our visit to this latter point resulting, as I 
earnestly hoped it would, in His Excellency being convinced 
by personal inspection of the advantage to be gained by 
making the Kohjak tunnel, and of the necessity for our en- 
deavouring to cultivate more friendly relations with the 
border tribes. We ended this very enjoyable tour at Kawal 
Pindi in order to be present at the winding-up of a Cavalry 
Camp of Exercise in the neighbourhood. There were assem- 
bled together under the direction of Major- General Luck one 
regiment of British and eight regiments of Native Cavalry, 
with two batteries of Royal Horse Artillery, and it was a 
pretty sight, their advance at full gallop, and the halt, as 
of one man, of that long line of Cavalry within a few yards 
of the Viceroy, for the Ptoyal salute. The spectators were 


much impressed with Lord Dufferin's nerve in being able 
to remain perfectly calm and still on his horse in the face 
of such an onslaught, and it certainly did seem rather close 
quarters ; but General Luck knew his regiments, and had 
confidence in his men, and we knew General Luck. 

In the early part of 1888 I visited all the chief military 
stations in the Bengal Presidency, and attended Camps of 
Exercise for all arms, held at Eawal Pindi, Umballa, 
Meerut, and Lucknow, before going to Calcutta for the usual 
discussion on the Budget ; after which the Government 
generally breaks up for the hot weather, and assembles in 
Simla two or three weeks later. 

During 1887 and 1888 much useful work was got through 
by the Defence Committee, and by another Committee which 
was assembled for the consideration of all questions bearing 
upon the mobilization of the army. As Commander-in- 
Chief I presided over both, and was fortunate in being 
able to secure as my secretaries two officers of exceptional 
ability, Lieutenant-Colonel W. Nicholson, B.E., for defence, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel E. Elles, K.A., for mobilization. 
It was in a great measure due to Colonel Nicholson's 
clear-sighted judgment on the many knotty questions 
which came before us, and to his technical knowledge, that 
the schemes for the defence of the frontier, and for the 
ports of Bombay, Karachi, Calcutta, Kangoon and Madras, 
were carried out so rapidly, thoroughly and economically 
as they were ;* and with regard to measures for rendering 
the army mobile, Colonel Elles proved himself equally 
capable and practical. The Secretary to Government in 

* The total cost of the coast and frontier defences amounted to the 
very moderate sum of five crores of rupees, or about three and a half 
millions sterling. 


the Military Department, Major-General Edwin Collen, 
was a particularly helpful member of the Committees* 
from his intimate acquaintance with the various subjects 
which had to be discussed. 

If my readers have had the patience to follow in detail 
the several campaigns in which I took part, they will have 
grasped the fact that our greatest difficulties on all occa- 
sions arose from the want of a properly organized Trans- 
port Department, and they will understand that I was 
able to make this very apparent when the necessity for 
mobilizing rapidly only one Army Corps came to be 
seriously considered. We were able to demonstrate con- 
clusively the impossibility of putting a force into the field, 
sufficiently strong to cope with a European enemy, without 
a considerable increase to the existing number of transport 
animals, and without some description of light cart strong 
enough to stand the rough work of a campaign in a country 
without roads ; for it is no exaggeration to say that in the 
autumn of 1880, when I left Kandahar, it would have been 
possible to have picked out the road thence to Quetta, 
and onward to Sibi, a distance of 250 miles, with no 
other guide than that of the line of dead animals and 
broken-down carts left behind by the several columns and 
convoys that had marched into Afghanistan by that route. 

Soon after I took over the command of the Army in 
India, while voyaging to Burma, I had brought this most 
pressing question of transport to the notice of Lord 
Dufferin, who, with his usual quick appreciation of a 
situation, at once fully recognized its urgency, and pro- 

* The Committees consisted, besides the Military Member of Council 
and myself, of the heads of Departments with the Government of India 
and at Army Head-Quarters. 



mised to give me all possible help in my endeavour to 
render the army mobile — a promise which he amply ful- 
filled by taking a keen personal interest in the proceedings 
of the Committee, and giving his hearty support to our 
various recommendations.* 

Our labours resulted in several thousand good pack 
animals (chiefly mules) being purchased, and information 
collected and recorded as to the districts where others could 
be rapidly procured in case of emergency. A transport 
service was established, for which officers had to go through 
a regular course of instruction, and pass an examination 
in the loading and general management of the animals. 
A prize was offered for a strong, useful light cart; and 
when the most suitable had been selected, large numbers 
were made up of the same pattern.! The constitution of 

* When the report of the Mobilization Committee was submitted to 
the Viceroy, he recorded a minute expressing his " warm admiration of 
the manner in which the arduous duty had been conducted," and " his 
belief that no scheme of a similar description had ever been worked out 
with greater thoroughness, in more detail, and with clearer apprehen- 
sion of the ends to be accomplished." He concluded by conveying to 
the members an expression of his great satisfaction at what had been 
done, and recording that ' the result of the Committee's labours is a 
magnificent monument of industry and professional ability.' 

f Statement of transport carriage maintained in India in the years 
1878 and 1893 for military purposes, exclusive of animals registered by 
the civil authorities on the latter date, and liable to be requisitioned in 
time of war : 













• Donkeys. 


















two Army Corps, to be in readiness for taking the field on 
short notice, was decided upon, and the units to form the 
several divisions and brigades were told off and provided 
with the necessary equipment. A railway time-table was 
prepared, giving the hours at which the troops should leave 
their stations so as to avoid any block en route. Special 
platforms were constructed for training and detraining 
Cavalry and Artillery, and storehouses were erected and 
stocked at those stations where road marching would pro- 
bably commence. Finally, the conclusions we had arrived 
at were embodied in a manual entitled ' General Eegula- 
tions for Mobilization.' It was extremely gratifying to me 
to learn from India that this manual, with such additions 
and alterations as our subsequent experience in Burma 
and various frontier expeditions proved would be advan- 
tageous, was the guide by which the Chitral relieving force 
was last year so expeditiously and completely equipped and 

Of the many subjects discussed and measures adopted 
during this, the last year of Lord Dufferin's Viceroyalty, 
I think the scheme for utilizing the armies of Native 
States, as an auxiliary force for the service of the Empire, 
was the most important both from a political and military 
point of view. 

The idea was, in the first instance, propounded by Lord 
Lytton, who appointed a committee to consider the pros 
and cons of the question. I was a member of that com- 
mittee, but at that time I, in common with many others, 
was doubtful as to the wisdom of encouraging a high state 
of efficiency amongst the troops of independent States; 
the excellent work, however, done by the Native Contin- 


gent I had with me in Kuram, and the genuine desire of 
all ranks to be allowed to serve side by side with our own 
soldiers, together with the unmistakable spirit of loyalty 
displayed by Native Kulers when war with Eussia was 
imminent in 1885, convinced me that the time had arrived 
for us to prove to the people of India that we had faith in 
their loyalty, and in their recognition of the fact that their 
concern in the defence of the Empire was at least as great 
as ours, and that we looked to them to take their part in 
strengthening our rule and in keeping out all intruders. 
I believed, too, that we had now little to fear from internal 
trouble so long as our Government continued just and 
sympathetic, but that, on the other hand, we could not 
expect to remain free from outside interference, and that it 
would be wise to prepare ourselves for a struggle which, as 
my readers must be aware, I consider to be inevitable in 
the end. We have done much, and may still do more, to 
delay it, but when that struggle comes it will be incumbent 
upon us, both for political and military reasons, to make 
use of all the troops and war material that the Native 
States can place at our disposal, and it is therefore to 
our advantage to render both as efficient and useful as 

The subject was, of course, most delicate and complex, 
and had to be treated with the greatest caution, for not 
only was the measure adapted to materially strengthen our 
military position in India, but I was convinced it was 
politically sound, and likely to be generally acceptable to 
the Native Eulers, provided we studied their wishes, and 
were careful not to offend their prejudices and suscepti- 
bilities by unnecessary interference. 


It was very satisfactory to find how cordially the Chiefs 
responded to Lord Dufferin's proposals, and extremely 
interesting to watch the steady improvement in their 
armies under the guidance of carefully selected British 
officers. Substantial results have been already obtained, 
valuable help having been afforded to the Chitral expedition 
by the transport trains organized by the Maharajas of 
Gwalior and Jaipur, and by the gallantry of the Imperial 
Service Troops belonging to His Highness the Maharaja 
of Kashmir at Hunza-Naga and during the siege and relief 
of Chitral. 

Two minor expeditions took place this year : one against 
the Thibetans in retaliation for their having invaded the 
territory of our ally, the Kaja of Sikim ; the other to 
punish the Black Mountain tribes for the murder of two 
British officers. Both were a success from a military 
point of view, but in the Black Mountain the determina- 
tion of the Punjab Government to limit the sphere of 
action of the troops, and to hurry out of the country, 
prevented our reaping any political advantage. We lost a 
grand opportunity for gaining control over this lawless and 
troublesome district ; no survey was made, no roads opened 
out, the tribesmen were not made to feel our power, and, 
consequently, very soon another costly expedition had to 
be undertaken. 

In November, 1888, Lord Dufferin left India amidst a 
storm of regret from all classes of Her Majesty's subjects. 
He was succeeded by Lord Lansdowne, one of whose 
earliest communications to me rejoiced my heart, for in it 
His Excellency inquired whether anything could be done 
towards improving our relations with the frontier tribes. 


This augured well for the abandonment of the traditional, 
selfish, and, to my mind, short-sighted policy of keeping 
aloof, and I hoped that endeavours would at last be made 
to turn the tribesmen into friendly neighbours, to their 
advantage and ours, instead of being obliged to have 
recourse to useless blockades or constant and expensive 
expeditions for their punishment, or else to induce them 
to refrain from troubling us by the payment of a heavy 

After a visit to the frontier in the autumn to see how 
the defences were advancing, I attended a Cavalry Camp of 
Exercise at Delhi, and an Artillery Practice Camp at 
Gurgaon, and then went to Meerut to be present at the first 
meeting of the Bengal Presidency Bine Association, which 
was most interesting and successful. We spent Christmas 
in camp — the first Christmas we had all been together for 
ten years. Our boy, having left Eton, came out in the 
early part of the year with a tutor, to be with us for 
eighteen months before entering Sandhurst. 

At the end of December I proceeded to Calcutta rather 
earlier than usual, to pay my respects to the new Viceroy, 
and in January of the following year, accompanied by my 
wife and daughter, I started off on a long tour to inspect 
the local regiments in Central India and Bajputana, and 
to ascertain what progress had been made in organizing 
the Imperial Service Troops in that part of India. 

Did space permit, I should like to tell my readers of the 
beauties of Udaipur and the magnificent hospitality ac- 
corded to us there, as well as at Bhopal, Jodhpur, Jaipur, 
and Ulwar, but, if I once began, it would be difficult to 
stop, and I feel I have already made an unconscionably 


heavy demand on the interest of the public in things 
Indian, and must soon cease my ' labour of love.' I must 
therefore confine myself to those subjects which I am 
desirous should be better understood in England than they 
generally are. 

Upon seeing the troops of the Begum of Bhopal and the 
Maharana of Udaipur, I recommended that Their High- 
nesses should be invited to allow their share of Imperial 
defence to take the form of paying for the services of 
an increased number of officers with their respective local 
Gorps,* for I did not think it would be possible to make 
any useful addition to our strength out of the material of 
which their small armies were composed. The men were 
relics of a past age, fit only for police purposes, and it 
would have been a waste of time and money to give them 
any special training. My recommendation, however, was 
not accepted, and neither of these States takes any part in 
the defence scheme. 

At Jodhpur, on the contrary, there was splendid material, 
and a most useful force was being organized by the Maha- 
raja's brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Pertap Sing, himself 
a Bajput, and of the bluest blood of India. The Cavalry 
were specially fine. The gallant Kajput horsemen of 

* According to treaty, the Bhopal State pays nearly two lakhs of 
rupees a year towards the cost of the local battalion maintained by 
the British Government for the purpose of keeping order within the 
State itself. The battalion, however, has only four, instead of eight, 
British officers, and it appeared to me only reasonable that the Begum 
should be invited to pay the additional amount necessary to make the 
battalion as efficient as the rest of the Native army, as a ' premium of 
insurance ' for the peace and prosperity which Her Highness's State 
enjoys under our protection, and as her quota towards the general 
scheme for the defence of the Empire. 


Jodhpur had always been famous for their chivalrous 
bravery, unswerving fidelity, and fearless self-devotion in 
their wars with the Mahrattas and the armies of the 
Mogul Emperors, and I felt, as the superbly mounted 
squadrons passed before me, that they had lost none of 
their characteristics, and that blood and breeding must tell, 
and would, if put to the test, achieve the same results now 
as of old. There could be but one opinion as to the value 
of the ' Sirdar Eissala,'* so named after the Maharaja's son 
and heir, Sirdar Sing, a lad of only nine years old, who 
led the little army past the saluting flag mounted on a 
beautiful thorough-bred Arab. 

The Jaipur troops were much on a par with those of 
Bhopal and Udaipur. I was glad, therefore, that, in lieu 
of troops, the Maharaja had agreed to organize, as his 
contribution to the Imperial service, a transport corps of 
1,000 fully-equipped animals. 

At Ulwar I found that the 600 Cavalry and 1,000 Infantry 
(all Rajputs) well advanced in their drill and training; 
this was evidently owing to the personal interest taken 
in them by the Maharaja, who seldom allowed a day to 
pass without visiting the parade grounds. 

By the end of March I had finished my tour in Central 
India and Rajputana, and as the heat was every day 
becoming more intense, I was not sorry to turn my steps 
northwards towards Kashmir, the army of which State still 
remained to be inspected, and the measures most suitable 
for its re-organization determined upon. 

Our whole family party re-assembled at Murree early in 
April, and we all went into the ' Happy Valley ' together, 

* Kissala is a body of Cavalry. 


where between business and pleasure we spent a most 
delightful six weeks. The Maharaja personally superin- 
tended the arrangements for our comfort. Our travelling 
was made easy — indeed luxurious— and everything that 
the greatest care and forethought and the most lavish 
hospitality could accomplish to make our visit happy 
was done by the Maharaja and by the popular Eesident, 
Colonel Nisbet. 

The Kashmir army was much larger than any of 
those belonging to the Native States I had lately visited ; 
it consisted of 18,000 men and 66 guns — more than was 
needed, even with the Gilgit frontier to guard. Some of 
the regiments were composed of excellent material, chiefly 
Dogras ; but as the cost of such a force was a heavy 
drain upon the State, and as many of the men were old 
and decrepit, I recommended that the Maharaja should be 
invited to get rid of all who were physically unfit, and to 
reduce his army to a total of 10,000 thoroughly reliable 
men and 30 guns. I knew this would be a very difficult, 
and perhaps distasteful, task for the Commander-in-Chief 
(who was also the Maharaja's brother), Eaja Earn Sing, to 
perform, so I recommended that a British officer should be 
appointed military adviser to the Kashmir Government, 
under whose supervision the work of reformation should be 
carried out. 

At that time we had none of our own troops in the 
neighbourhood of Gilgit, and as I thought it advisable, 
in case of disturbance, that the Kashmir troops should be 
speedily put into such a state of efficiency as would enable 
us to depend upon them to hold the passes until help could 
arrive from India, I urged that the military adviser should 


be given three British officers to assist him in carrying out 
his difficult and troublesome duty ; and at the same time I 
pointed out that it was absolutely essential to construct at 
an early date a serviceable road between Kashmir and 
Gilgit, as the sole approach to that strategic position was 
not only difficult, but very dangerous. 

All these proposals commended themselves to, and were 
acted upon by, the Viceroy. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Neville Chamberlain — a, persona grata 
to the Kashmir authorities — was appointed Military Secre- 
tary to the Kashmir State, and by his ability, tact, and happy 
way of dealing with Natives, quickly overcame all obstacles. 
The Maharaja and his two brothers, Eajas Earn Sing and 
Amar Sing, entered heartily into the scheme; the army was 
remodelled and rendered fit for service ; and an excellent 
road was made to Gilgit. 

During the summer of 1889 I was able to introduce 
several much needed changes in the annual course of 
musketry for the Native Army. The system in vogue at 
that time dated from a period when fire discipline was 
not thought of, and when the whole object of the course 
was to make soldiers individually good shots. After the 
Delhi Camp of Exercise in 1885-86, when the want of fire 
control was almost the only point unfavourably criticized by 
the foreign officers, the Army in India made a great advance 
in this important branch of musketry training ; nevertheless, 
I felt that further progress was possible, and that the course 
of instruction was not altogether as practical as it might 
be. I therefore gave over the work of improvement 
in this respect to an enthusiast in the matter of rifle- 
shooting and an officer of exceptional energy and intelli- 
vol. 11. 60 


gence, Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Hamilton, and directed him, 
as Assistant Adjutant-General of Musketry, to arrange a 
course of instruction, in which the conditions should 
resemble as nearly as possible those of field service, and 
in which fire discipline should be developed to the utmost 
extent. He was most successful in carrying out my wishes, 
and the results from the first year's trial of the new system 
were infinitely better than even I had anticipated. 

Simultaneously with the improvement in musketry, a 
great advance was made in gunnery. Artillery, like 
Infantry officers, had failed to realize the value of the 
new weapon, and it required the teaching of a man who 
himself thoroughly believed in and understood the breech- 
loading gun to arouse Artillerymen to a sense of the 
tremendous power placed in their hands, and to the 
importance of devoting much more care and attention 
to practice than had hitherto been thought necessary. 
Such a man was Major-General Nairne, and I was happily 
able to induce the Government to revive in him the 
appointment of Inspector- General of Artillery. 

Under the unwearying supervision of this officer, there 
was quite as remarkable an improvement in Artillery 
shooting as Colonel Hamilton had effected in musketry. 
Practice camps were annually formed at convenient localities, 
and all ranks began to take as much pride in belonging to 
the ' best shooting battery ' as they had hitherto taken in 
belonging to the ' smartest,' the ' best-horsed,' or the ' best- 
turned-out ' battery. I impressed upon officers and men 
that the two things were quite compatible ; that, according 
to my experience, the smartest and best-turned-out men 
made the best soldiers ; and while I urged every detail being 


most carefully attended to, which could enable them to 
become proficient gunners and take their proper place on 
the field of battle, I expressed my earnest hope that the 
Royal Artillery would always maintain its hitherto high 
reputation for turn-out and smartness. 

The improvement in the Cavalry was equally apparent. 
For this arm of the service also the Government consented 
to an Inspector- General being appointed, and I was fortunate 
enough to be able to secure for the post the services of 
Major-General Luck, an officer as eminently fitted for this 
position as was General Nairne for his. 

Just at first the British officers belonging to Native 
Cavalry were apprehensive that their sowars would be 
turned into dragoons, but they soon found that there was no 
intention of changing any of their traditional characteristics, 
and that the only object of giving them an Inspector- 
General was to make them even better in their own way 
than they had been before, the finest Irregular Cavalry 
in the world, as I have not the slightest doubt they will 
always prove themselves to be. 

Towards the end of the Simla season of 1889, Lord 
Lansdowne, to my great satisfaction, announced his in- 
tention of visiting the frontier, and asked me to accompany 

We rode through the Khyber and Gomal Passes, visited 
Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, and Quetta, 
looked into the Kohjak tunnel, and attended some in- 
teresting manoeuvres, carried out with a view of testing, in 
as practical a manner as possible, the defensive power of 
the recently-finished Takatu-Mashalik entrenchment. The 
principal works were fired upon by Artillery and Infantry, 


and, notwithstanding the excellent practice made, in- 
finitesimal damage was done, which proved the suitability 
of the particular design adopted for the defences. 

Lord Lansdowne expressed himself greatly interested, 
and much impressed by all he saw of the frontier ; and he 
was confirmed in his opinion as to the desirability of 
establishing British influence amongst the border tribes. 
With this object in view, His Excellency authorized Sir 
Kobert Sandeman (the Governor-General's Agent at Quetta) 
to establish a series of police posts in the Gomal Pass, and 
encourage intercourse between the people of the Zhob 
district and ourselves. 

It was high time that something should be done in this 
direction, for the Amir's attitude towards us was becoming 
day by day more unaccountably antagonistic. He was 
gradually encroaching on territory and occupying places 
altogether outside the limits of Afghan control ; and 
every movement of ours — made quite as much in His 
Highness's interest as in our own — for strengthening the 
frontier and improving the communications, evidently 
aroused in him distrust and suspicion as to our motives. 

[ 437 J 


New Year's Day, 1890, found me in Calcutta, where I 
went to meet Prince Albert Victor on his arrival in 
India. On my way thither I received a letter from Mr. 
Edward Stanhope, Secretary of State for War, telling me 
that he had heard from Lord Cross, the Secretary of State 
for India, that there was a proposal to ask me to retain 
my appointment of Commander-in-Chief in India for some 
time after the expiration of the usual term of office ; but 
that, while such an arrangement would have his hearty 
approval, he thought the question should be considered 
from another point of view, and that it would be extremely 
agreeable to himself, and he felt to the Duke of Cambridge 
also, if he could secure me for the post of Adjutant- 
General in succession to Lord Wolseley. Mr. Stanhope 
went on to say he would like to know whether I would be 
willing to accept the appointment, or whatever position 
Lord Wolseley's successor would fill, should the report of 
Lord Hartington's Commission cause a change to be made 
in the staff at the Horse Guards. 

I was pleased, though somewhat surprised, at this com- 
munication, and I replied to the Eight Honourable gentle- 
man that I would gladly accept the offer, and that I could 


arrange to join on the 1st October, when the appointment 
would become vacant, but that, as Lord Lansdowne had 
expressed a wish that I should remain in India over the 
next cold season, I hoped, if it were possible, some 
arrangement might be made to admit of my doing so. 
The idea of employment in England, now that I allowed 
myself to dwell upon it, was very attractive, for dearly as 
I loved my Indian command, and bitterly as I knew I 
should grieve at leaving the country, the peoples, and the 
grand army, which were all sources of such intense interest 
to me, I felt that the evil day at longest could only be 
postponed for a few years, and that there is a limit to the 
time that even the strongest European can with impunity 
live in an eastern climate, while I was glad to think I should 
still be in a position to work for my country and for the 
benefit of the army. 

From Calcutta I travelled north to Muridki, where a 
large force of Horse Artillery and Cavalry was assembled 
for practice, and where we had a standing camp, at 
which Prince Albert Victor did us the honour of being 
our guest for the final manoeuvres. I think His Eoyal 
Highness enjoyed the novelty of camp life, and was greatly 
attracted by the picturesque and soldier-like appearance 
of the Native troops. The Native officers were very proud 
at being presented to the grandson of their Empress, and 
at His Eoyal Highness being appointed Honorary Colonel 
of the 1st Punjab Cavalry. 

Towards the end of April I returned to Simla for what 
I thought was to be our last season in that place ; and 
shortly after I got up there, a telegram from Mr. Stanhope 
informed me that my appointment had been accepted by 


the Cabinet, and that my presence in England was strongly 
desired in the autumn. It was therefore with very great 
surprise that I received a second telegram three weeks 
later from the Secretary of State, telling me that, as it was 
then found to be impossible to choose my successor, and 
as the exigencies of the public service urgently required my 
presence in India, the Cabinet, with the approval of Her 
Majesty and the concurrence of the Duke of Cambridge, had 
decided to ask me to retain my command for two more years. 

I felt it my duty to obey the wishes of the Queen, Her 
Majesty's Government, and the Commander-in-Chief ; but 
I fully realized that in doing so I was forfeiting my chance 
of employment in England, and that a long and irksome 
term of enforced idleness would in all probability follow on 
my return home, and I did not attempt to conceal from 
Mr. Stanhope that I was disappointed. 

At the latter end of this year, and in the early part of 
1891, it was found necessary to undertake three small 
expeditions: one to Zhob, under the leadership of Sir 
George White, for the protection of our newly-acquired 
subjects in that valley; one on the Kohat border, com- 
manded by Sir William Lockhart, to punish the people 
of the Miranzai valley for repeated acts of hostility ; and 
the third, under Major- General Elles,* against the Black 
Mountain tribes, who, quite unsubdued by the fruitless 
expedition of 1888, had given trouble almost immediately 
afterwards. All these were as completely successful in 
their political results as in their military conduct. The 
columns were not withdrawn until the tribesmen had 
become convinced that they were powerless to sustain a 

* The late Lieutenant- General Sir W. K. Elles, K.C.B. 


hostile attitude towards us, and that it was their interest, 
as it was our wish, that they should henceforth be on 
amicable terms with us. 

While a considerable number of troops were thus em- 
ployed, a fourth expedition had to be hurriedly equipped 
and despatched in quite the opposite direction to punish 
the Eaja of Manipur, a petty State on the confines of 
Assam, for the treacherous murder of Mr. Quinton, the 
Chief Commissioner of Assam, and four other British 

Notwithstanding its inaccessibility, two columns, one 
from Burma, the other from Cachar, quickly and simul- 
taneously reached Manipur, our countrymen were avenged, 
and the administration of the State was taken over for a 
time by the Government of India.* 

Towards the end of January the Cesarewitch came to 
Calcutta, where I had the honour of being introduced to 
our august visitor, who expressed himself as pleased with 
what he had seen of the country and the arrangements 
made for His Imperial Highness's somewhat hurried 
journey through India. 

In April my military colleague in the Viceroy's Council 
for five years, and my personal friend, General Sir George 
Chesney, left India, to my great regret. We had worked 
together most harmoniously, and, as he wrote in his 
farewell letter, there was scarcely a point in regard to the 
Army in India about which he and I did not agree. 

Sir George was succeeded by Lieutenant-General Bracken- 

* A detachment of the Calcutta Volunteer Eifles, at the particular 
request of the regiment, took part in the expedition, and did good 



bury, who had been Director of Military Intelligence at the 
War Office. I was relieved to find that, although in some 
particulars my new coadjutor's views differed from mine, 
we were in accord upon all essential points, particularly 
as to the value of the Indian Army and the necessity for 
its being maintained in a state of preparedness for war. 

From the time I became Commander-in-Chief in Madras 
until I left India the question of how to render the army 
in that country as perfect a fighting machine as it 
was possible to make it, was the one which caused me 
the most anxious thought, and to its solution my most 
earnest efforts had been at all times directed. 

The first step to be taken towards this end was, it seemed 
to me, to substitute men of the more warlike and hardy 
races for the Hindustani sepoys of Bengal, the Tamils and 
Telagus of Madras, and the so-called Mahrattas of Bombay ; 
but I found it difficult to get my views accepted, because of 
the theory which prevailed that it was necessary to maintain 
an equilibrium between the armies of the three Presidencies, 
and because of the ignorance that was only too universal 
with respect to the characteristics of the different races, 
which encouraged the erroneous belief that one Native was 
as good as another for purposes of war. 

In former days, when the Native Army in India was so 
much stronger in point of numbers than the British Army, 
and there existed no means of rapid communication, it was 
only prudent to guard against a predominance of soldiers 
of any one creed or nationality ; but with British troops 
nearly doubled and the Native Army reduced by more than 
one-third, with all the forts and arsenals protected, and 
nearly the whole of the Artillery manned by British 



soldiers, with railway and telegraph communication from 
one end of India to the other, with the risk of internal 
trouble greatly diminished, and the possibility of external 
complications becoming daily more apparent, circumstances 
and our requirements were completely altered, and it had 
become essential to have in the ranks of our Native Army 
men who might confidently be trusted to take their share 
of fighting against a European foe. 

In the British Army the superiority of one regiment over 
another is mainly a matter of training ; the same courage 
and military instinct are inherent in English, Scotch and 
Irish alike, but no comparison can be made between the 
martial value of a regiment recruited amongst the Gurkhas 
of Nepal or the warlike races of northern India, and of one 
recruited from the effeminate peoples of the south. 

How little this was understood, even by those who had 
spent a great part of their service in India, was a marvel to 
me ; but, then, I had had peculiar opportunities of judging 
of the relative fighting qualities of Natives, and I was in 
despair at not being able to get people to see the matter 
with my eyes, for I knew that nothing was more sure to lead 
to disaster than to imagine that the whole Indian Army, as 
it was then constituted, could be relied on in time of war. 

General Chesney fortunately shared my opinions, and as 
Lords Dufferin and Lansdowne trusted us, we were able to 
do a great deal towards increasing the efficiency of the 
Native Army and improving the status and prospects of the 
Native soldier. Several companies and regiments com- 
posed of doubtful material were disbanded, and men of 
well-known fighting castes entertained instead. Class regi- 
ments were formed, as being more congenial to the men and 


more conducive to esprit de corps ; recruiting was made the 
business of carefully selected officers who understood Native 
character, and whose duty it was to become acquainted with 
the various tribes inhabiting the districts from which the 
recruits for their own regiments were drawn ; and special 
arrangements were made with the Nepalese Government by 
which a sufficient number of the best class of men could be 
obtained for our thirteen Gurkha regiments. 

The pay of Cavalry soldiers was improved, and it was 
pointed out to the Government that an increase to the 
Infantry soldiers' pay could not be long deferred ;* the 
issue of good-conduct pay was accelerated ; jagirs\ were 
sanctioned annually for a limited number of specially dis- 
tinguished Native officers ; full pay was authorized for 
recruits from date of enlistment instead of from the date 
of joining their regiments ; field batta { was sanctioned 
whenever troops should be employed beyond sea or on 
service ; pensions were granted after a shorter period of 
service than heretofore ; medals for meritorious service 
and good conduct were given in commemoration of Her 
Majesty's Jubilee ; bronze war medals were sanctioned for 
all authorized Government followers ; a reserve, which it 
was arranged should undergo an annual course of training, 
was formed for the Artillery and Infantry ; and a system 
of linked battalions was organized, three battalions being 
grouped together, and the men being interchangeable during 

* The pay of the Native Infantry has been suitably increased since 
I left India. 

f Jagirs are grants of land. 

% Batta, extra allowances given to Native soldiers when proceeding 
on field service. 


While the tendency of these alterations and concessions 
was to make all ranks happy and contented, their training 
was carefully attended to, and, as I have before mentioned, 
musketry particularly reached a very high standard. 

The one thing left undone, and which I should like to 
have been able to accomplish before leaving India, was to 
induce the Government to arrange for more British officers 
to be given to the Native regiments in time of war. Nine to 
a Cavalry and eight to an Infantry corps may be sufficient 
in time of peace, but that number is quite too small 
to stand the strain of war. Indian soldiers, like soldiers 
of every nationality, require to be led ; and history 
and experience teach us that eastern races (fortunately 
for us), however brave and accustomed to war, do not 
possess the qualities that go to make leaders of men, 
and that Native officers in this respect can never take the 
place of British officers. I have known many Natives 
whose gallantry and devotion could not be surpassed, but 
I have never known one who would not have looked to 
the youngest British officer for support in time of diffi- 
culty and danger. It is therefore most unwise to allow 
Native regiments to enter upon a war with so much 
smaller a proportion of British officers than is con- 
sidered necessary for European regiments. I have no 
doubt whatever of the fighting powers of our best Indian 
troops ; I have a thorough belief in, and admiration for, 
Gurkhas, Sikhs, Dogras, Bajputs, Jats, and selected 
Mahomedans ; I thoroughly appreciate their soldierly 
qualities; brigaded with British troops, I would be proud 
to lead them against any European enemy ; but we cannot 
expect them to do with less leading than our own soldiers 




require, and it is, I maintain, trying them too highly to 
send them into action with the present establishment of 
British officers.* 

In the late autumn of 1891 our latest acquisition, the 
Zhob Valley, was included in my frontier tour, which 
I had the pleasure of making, for the greater part of 
the way, in the company of General Brackenbury. He 
was prevented from getting as far as Quetta by an accident 
which laid him up for some time, but not, as he told 
me, before he had seen enough of the frontier to satisfy 
him that the tribes were a factor in our system of defence 

* During the Mutiny the casualties amongst the British officers 
with the six Punjab regiments which saw the most fighting amounted 
to 60 per cent. ! Luckily, these were able to be replaced by officers 
belonging to corps which had mutinied. This supply, however, has 
long since been used up, and it behoves the Government either to 
provide an adequate reserve of officers, or to arrange for a sufficient 
number being sent out from England whenever India is likely to be 
engaged in a serious war. 


Number of 


who did 

Duty with 

each C>rps. 


Killed in 

Died of 

Died of 



1st Punjab 
Cavalry (1 

2nd Punjab 
Cavalry - 

5th Punjab 
Cavalry (1 

1st Punjab 
Infantry - 

2nd Punjab 
Infantry - 

4th Punjab 
Infantry - 

Total - 



















29 14 


which could not be ignored, and that I had not exaggerated 
the importance of having them on our side. 

During this winter the brilliant little Hunza-Naga cam- 
paign took place, which has been so graphically described 
in Mr. Knight's ' Where Three Empires Meet.' It was 
brought about by Eussia's intrigues with the Eulers of the 
petty States on the northern boundary of Kashmir; and 
our attention was first roused to the necessity for action 
by two British officers, who were journeying to India by 
way of the Pamirs and Gilgit, being forced by Eussian 
soldiers to leave what the leader of the party called ' newly- 
acquired Eussian territory'* — territory to which Eussia 
had not the shadow of a claim. 

In addition to this unjustifiable treatment of Captain 
Younghusband and Lieutenant Davison, Colonel Yanoff 
crossed the Hindu Kush with his Cossacks by the Korabhut 
Pass, and, after reconnoitring the country on the borders of 
Kashmir, re-crossed the range by the Baroghil Pass. As 
this was a distinct breach of the promises made by the 
Eussian Government, and an infringement of the boundary 
line as agreed to between England and Eussia in 1873, it 
was necessary to take steps to prevent any recurrence of 
such interference, and a small force was accordingly sent 
against the Chief of Hunza, who had openly declared 
himself in favour of Eussia. He made a desperate stand, 
but was eventually driven from his almost inaccessible 
position by the determined gallantry of our Indian troops, 
assisted by a Contingent from Kashmir. Three Victoria 

* Captain Younghusband was at Bozai-Gumbaz, and Lieutenant 
Davison on the Alichur Pamirs, both places being south of the branch 
of the Oxus which takes its rise in the Sir-i-kul Lake. 


Crosses were given for this business, and many more were 
earned, but of necessity there must be a limit to the dis- 
posal of decorations; and in an affair of this kind, in 
which all proved themselves heroes, each individual must 
have felt himself honoured by the small force being awarded 
such a large number of the coveted reward, in proportion 
to its size. 

We reaped the benefit of having taken this district under 
our own control when Chitral required to be relieved, and 
the Hunza-Naga people afforded Colonel Kelly such valuable 

On the 1st January, 1892, I received an intimation that 
Her Majesty had been graciously pleased to bestow a 
peerage upon me, and the same day the Secretary of State 
for India offered me a further extension of my appoint- 
ment as Commander-in-Chief — an offer I would gladly have 
accepted, as I knew it had been made with the concurrence 
of the Viceroy, if I could have taken even a few months' 
leave to England. But during a quarter of a century I had 
only been able to spend eighteen months out of India, and 
I felt the need of change of climate and a little rest after 
so many years of continued hard work. Under the exist- 
ing regulations a Commander-in-Chief could have no leave. 
Lord Cross had tried to remedy this hard rule by bringing 
in the ' Officers' Leave Bill ' ; but as he informed Lord Lans- 
downe it was impossible to get it through the House of 
Commons that session, I was obliged very reluctantly to 
beg to be allowed to resign my command in the spring of 

Before returning to Simla for really the last time, my 
wife and I made another trip to Burma as far as Man- 


dalay, and after this was over we paid a most interesting 
visit to Nepal, having received the very unusual honour of 
an invitation to Khatmandu from Maharaja Bir Shumsher 
Jung Eana Bahadur. 

Khatmandu is about a hundred miles from our frontier 
station of Segowli, by a very rough road over a succession 
of steep, high hills and along deep, narrow valleys, which 
would have been quite impossible for a lady to travel by 
but for the excellent arrangements made by the Nepalese 
officials ; the last descent was the worst of all ; we literally 
dropped from one rock to the next in some places. But on 
reaching the base of the mountain all was changed. A 
beautifully cultivated valley spread itself out before us ; 
comfortable tents were prepared for our reception, where 
we were met by some of the State officials ; and a perfectly 
appointed carriage- and-f our was waiting to carry us on to 
Khatmandu, where we were received by the Kesident, 
Lieutenant- Colon'el Wylie, and his wife, old friends of ours. 
That afternoon the Maharaja paid me a private visit. 

The next morning the official call was made, which I 
returned soon afterwards ; and in the evening the Maha- 
raja, accompanied by his eldest son and eight of his 
brothers, all high officers of state, were present at Mrs. 
Wylie's reception, wearing military frock-coats and forage- 
caps. They all spoke English fluently; their manners 
were those of well-bred gentlemen, easy and quiet, as free 
from awkwardness as from forwardness; each, coming up 
in turn, talked very pleasantly to Lady Koberts for a time, 
and then made way for someone else. The Maharaja is 
extremely musical, and has several well-trained bands, 
taught by an English bandmaster ; three of them were in 

1892] VISIT TO NEPAL 449 

attendance, and were directed to play selections from 
our favourite operas, and then a number of the beautiful 
plaintive Nepalese airs. Altogether, we passed a most 
agreeable evening. 

The following day a review of all the troops (18,000 men 
and 78 guns)* was held on a ground one mile in length 
by half a mile in breadth, perfectly level and well turfed. 
It would be considered a fine parade-ground for the plains 
of India, and must have entailed a considerable expendi- 
ture of time, labour, and money to make in such a hilly 
place as Khatmandu. 

On reaching the ground, I was received by the Maharaja 
and Deb Shamsher Jung, the eldest of his many brothers, 
and the nominal Commander-in-Chief of the army ; we 
rode along the line together, and the march-past then 
began. Everything was done with the utmost precision ; 
there was no fuss or talking, and from first to last not 
a single bugle sound was heard, showing how carefully 
officers and men had been drilled. I was told that the 
executive Commander-in-Chief, the third brother, by name 
Chandra Shamsher, had almost lived on the parade-ground 
for weeks before my arrival. The Maharaja's sons and 
brothers, who all knew their work, and were evidently 
fond of soldiering, commanded the several divisions and 

The troops were not, perhaps, turned out quite so 

* The Infantry comprised twenty-four battalions drawn up in line 
•of quarter columns. The Artillery consisted of one battery (six 
7 -pounders) carried on elephants, six batteries (six guns each, 
5-pounders and 7-pounders) dragged by soldiers, and six batteries (six 
guns each, 3-pounders and 5-pounders) carried by Bhutia coolies. 

VOL. II. 61 


s.nartly as those in our service, and several of the officers 
vere old and feeble ; but these were the only faults per- 
(eptible, and I came to the conclusion that the great 
majority of the 18,000 men were quite as good as the 
Gurkhas we enlist ; and I could not help thinking that 
riiey would be a valuable addition to our strength in the 
event of war. 

General Chandra Shamsher is a very red-hot soldier. 
He said to my wife : ' Lady Eoberts, when are the Eussians 
coming ? I wish they would make haste. We have 40,000 
soldiers in Nepal ready for war, and there is no one to 

The next day a grand durbar was held, at which the 
King (the Maharaja Dhiraj, as he is called) presided ; he 
was an unusually handsome lad of about eighteen years of 
age, fairer than most Nepalese, and very refined looking. 
As on all previous occasions, everyone wore uniform 
except the King, who had on a perfectly plain dress of 
spotless white. Great deference is outwardly paid to the 
Dhiraj, but he has no power, and is never consulted in 
matters of State, being considered too sacred to be troubled 
with mundane affairs. Although a mere boy, he had 
four wives, two of them daughters of the Maharaja Bir 
Shamsher Jung. 

After the durbar, I was shown over the principal school 
and hospital ; both appeared to be well conducted, and evi- 
dently no expense was spared upon them. I was then 
taken to a magazine, in which were a number of guns of 
various calibre and any amount of ammunition. I was told 
there were several other magazines, which I had not time 
to see, and a few miles from Khatmandu extensive work- 


shops, where all kinds of munitions of war were manu- 

That evening, accompanied by Colonel and Mrs. Wylie, 
we attended a reception at the Maharaja's palace. The 
durbar hall, which was filled with men in uniform, was of 
beautiful proportions, and very handsomely decorated and 
furnished. After the usual introductions and some con- 
versation with the chief officers, we were invited to visit the 
Maharani in her own apartments, and having ascended a 
flight of steps and passed through numerous corridors and 
luxuriously furnished rooms, we were shown into a spacious 
apartment, the prevailing colour of which was rose, lighted 
by lamps of the same colour. The Maharani was sitting on 
a sofa at the further end of the room, gorgeously apparelled 
in rose-coloured gauze dotted over with golden spangles ; 
her skirts were very voluminous, and she wore magnificent 
jewels on her head and about her person. Two Maids of 
Honour stood behind her, holding fans and dressed in the 
same colour as their mistress, but without jewels. On 
each side of her, forming a semicircle, were grouped the 
ladies of the Court, all arrayed in artistically contrasting 
colours ; they were more or less pretty and refined looking, 
and the Maharani herself was extremely handsome. My 
wife was placed by her side on the sofa, and carried on a 
long conversation with her through one of the ladies who 
spoke Hindustani and acted as Interpreter. The Maharani 
presented Lady Eoberts with a beautiful little Chinese pug- 
dog, and the Maharaja gave me a gold-mounted kookri 
(Gurkha knife). After this little ceremony there was a 
grand display of fireworks, and we took our leave. 

Nothing could exceed the kindness we met with during 


our stay in Nepal. The Maharaja endeavoured in every 
way to make our visit enjoyable, and his brothers vied 
with each other in their efforts to do us honour. It was 
impressed upon me that the Nepalese army was at the 
disposal of the Queen-Empress, and hopes were repeatedly 
expressed that we would make use of it in the event of 

Notwithstanding the occasional differences which have 
occurred between our Government and the Nepal Durbar, 
I believe that, ever since 1817, when the Nepal war was 
brought to a successful conclusion by Sir David Ochterlony, 
the Gurkhas have had a great respect and liking for us ; 
but they are in perpetual dread of our taking their country, 
and they think the only way to prevent this is not to 
allow anyone to enter it except by invitation, and to insist 
upon the few thus favoured travelling by the difficult 
route that we traversed. Nepal can never be required 
by us for defensive purposes, and as we get our best 
class of Native soldiers thence, everything should, I think, 
be done to show our confidence in the Nepalese alliance, 
and convince them that we have no ulterior designs on the 
independence of their kingdom. 

On leaving Nepal we made a short tour in the Punjab, 
and then went to Simla for the season. 

One of the subjects which chiefly occupied the attention 
of the Government at this time was the unfriendly attitude 
of the Euler of Afghanistan towards us. Abdur Eahman 
Khan appeared to have entirely forgotten that he owed 
everything to us, and that, but for our support and lavish 
aid in money and munitions of war, he could neither have 
gained nor held the throne of Kabul. We refused to Sher 


Ali much that we could have gracefully granted and that 
would have made him a firm friend, but in our dealings 
with Abdur Eahman we rushed into the other extreme, 
and showered favours upon him ; in fact, we made too 
much of him, and allowed him to get out of hand. The 
result was that he mistook the patience and forbearance 
with which we bore his fits of temper for weakness, and 
was encouraged in an overweening and altogether unjustifi- 
able idea of his own importance ; he considered that he 
ought to be treated as the equal of the Shah of Persia, and 
keenly resented not being allowed to communicate direct 
with Her Majesty's Ministers. 

In the hope of being able to establish more satisfactory 
relations with the Amir, Lord Lansdowne invited him to 
come to India, and, on His Highness pleading that his 
country was in too disturbed a condition to admit of his 
leaving it, the Viceroy expressed his willingness to 
meet him on the frontier, but Abdur Eahman evaded 
this arrangement also under one pretext or another. 
It was at last proposed to send me with a Mission as 
far as Jalalabad, a proposal I gladly accepted, for I was 
sanguine enough to hope that, by personal explanation, I 
should be able to remove the suspicions which the Amir 
evidently entertained as to the motives for our action on the 
frontier, and to convince him that our help in the time of 
his need must depend upon our mutually agreeing in what 
manner that help should be given, and on arrangements 
being completed beforehand to enable our troops to be 
rapidly transported to the threatened points. 

Abdur Eahman agreed to receive me in the autumn, and 
expressed pleasure at the prospect of meeting me, but 


eventually he apparently became alarmed at the size of 
the escort by which the Government thought it necessary 
that I, as Commander-in-Chief, should be accompanied ; 
and, as the time approached for the Mission to start, he 
informed Lord Lansdowne that his health would not permit 
of his undertaking the journey to Jalalabad. 

Thus the opportunity was lost to which I had looked 
forward as a chance for settling many vexed questions, and 
I am afraid that there has been very little improvement in 
our relations with Abdur Eahman since then, and that we 
are no nearer the completion of our plans for the defence 
of his kingdom than we were four years ago* — a defence 
which (and this cannot be too strongly impressed upon the 
Amir) it would be impossible for us to aid him to carry 
through unless Kabul and Kandahar are brought into 
connexion with the railway system of India. 

In the autumn, just before we left Simla, our friends 
bestowed upon my wife a farewell gift in the shape of a 
very beautiful diamond bracelet and a sum of money for 
her fund for ' Homes in the Hills, and Officers' Hospitals,' 
made doubly acceptable by the kind words with which 
Lord Lansdowne, on behalf of the donors, presented it. 
Shortly afterwards we bade a regretful adieu to our happy 
home of so many years, and made our way to the Punjab 
for a final visit. 

We spent a few days at Peshawar, and then went to 
Eawal Pindi to be present at a Camp of Exercise, and see 
how the works under construction for the protection of the 

* I am not unmindful of the visit which Sir Mortimer Durand paid 
to Kabul after I had left India, but on that occasion, I believe, the 
question of the defence of Afghanistan was not discussed. 

1893] A LAST TOUR 455 

arsenal were progressing. These works had been put in 
hand in 1890, when, according to my recommendation, it 
had been decided not to fortify Multan. No place in the 
Punjab appeared to my mind to possess the same military 
value as Eawal Pindi, its strategical importance with 
regard to the right flank of the frontier line being hardly 
inferior to that of Quetta in relation to the left flank ; but 
of late the advisability of completing the works had been 
questioned by my colleagues in Council, greatly to my 
concern, for I felt that it would be unwise to leave the 
elaboration of the defences of such a position until war 
should be imminent.* 

In January, 1893, a series of farewell entertainments 
were organized for me at Lahore by the people of the 
Punjab, as touching as they were highly appreciated, and 

* The works were stopped after I left India, but not, I was glad to 
think, before the redoubts had been finished, with the communications 
thereto. The reasons given were that a change of plans was necessary 
for economy's sake, and that the construction of fortifications might 
induce the Natives to think we were doubtful of the continuance of our 
supremacy. As regarded the first, I explained that the total outlay 
for works and armaments was estimated at only £332,274 — consider- 
ably less than one half the cost of a British line-of-battle ship ; and as 
to the second, I urged that an argument of this sort against frontier 
defences would hardly bear examination ; that the possibility of 
external attack was freely discussed in every newspaper ; that Kussian 
movements and frontier difficulties were known and commented on in 
every bazaar ; that the construction of fortifications in support of the 
Ruling Power had been an Oriental practice from time immemorial ; 
that our action in this respect was at least as likely to instil the idea 
that we meant to retain our eastern possessions at any cost, as to give 
an impression of weakness ; that the progressive re- organization and 
mobilization of our army were well known to have reference to service 
beyond the frontier ; and that we had extended our confidence in this 
respect to Native Princes by encouraging them to train their own 
troops and fit them to take their place in line with ours. 


intensely gratifying. Amongst the crowds assembled in 
the Town Hall to bid me good-bye, I was greatly pleased to 
see, besides the Maharaja of Kashmir, Chiefs and men 
from beyond our frontier, from Kuram, from the confines 
of Baluchistan, even from the wilds of Waziristan ; for 
their presence on this occasion I felt to be, not only a 
proof of their kindly feeling towards me personally, and of 
their approval of the measures for their safety and welfare 
that I had always advocated, but a very distinct sign of 
the much to be desired change that was taking place in 
the sentiments of the border tribes towards us as a nation. 

Four addresses were presented to me, from the Sikh, 
Hindu, Mahomedan, and European communities of the 
Punjab, respectively, which I will venture to give in the 
Appendix, as I feel sure that the spirit of loyalty which 
pervades them will be a revelation to many, and a source 
of satisfaction to all who are interested in the country 
to which we owe so much of our present greatness, and 
which I conceive to be the brightest jewel in England's 

It was a wonderful and moving scene upon which we 
looked from the platform of the Town Hall on this memor- 
able occasion, made up as it was of such different elements, 
each race and creed easily recognizable from their different 
costumes and characteristics, but all united by the same 
kindly desire to do honour to their departing friend, or 
comrade, for there were a great number of old soldiers 

At each place that we visited on our way to Calcutta 
there was the same display of kindly regret at our de- 
parture; friends assembled to see us off at the railway- 


stations, bands played ' Auld lang syne,' and Hearty cheers 
speeded us on our way. 

In February we went to Lucknow for a few days, 
when the Talukdars of Oudh gave my wife and me an 
entertainment on a very splendid scale in the Wingfield 
Park, and presented me with an address* and a sword of 

On our return to Calcutta, just before we left for England, 
the European community entertained me at a dinner, at 
which more than two hundred were present, presided over 
by Sir James Mackay, K.C.I.E., Chairman of the Calcutta 
Chamber of Commerce. Sir James was far too kind and 
eulogistic in speaking of my services, but for his appre- 
ciative allusion to my wife I could only feel deeply gratified 
and thankful. After dinner a reception was given to Lady 
Eoberts and myself, at which the Viceroy and Lady Lans- 
downe and all the principal Native and European residents 
of Calcutta were assembled. An addresst was presented to 
me on this never-to-be-forgotten occasion, in which, to my 
supreme satisfaction, the Native noblemen and gentlemen 
expressed their hearty approval of what had been done 
during my tenure of office as Commander-in-Chief to 
strengthen the defences of the frontier and render the army 
in India efficient, and declared that ' we cheerfully bear 
our share of the cost, as in possession of these protections 
against aggressions from without we believe all who dwell 
within the borders of the land will find their best guarantee 
for peace, and in peace the best safeguard they and their 
children can possess to enable them to pass their lives in 

* Given in the Appendix. f Ibid. 


happiness and prosperity, and escape the misery and ruin 
which follow war and invasion.' 

We travelled to Bombay via Jeypur and Jodhpur. At 
both places we were royally entertained by the Kulers of 
those states, and my staff and I were given excellent sport 
amongst the wild boar, which was much enjoyed by all, 
particularly by my son, who, having joined the King's 
Royal Rifles at Rawal Pindi, was attached to me as A.D.C. 
during my last six months in India, and had not before had 
an opportunity of tasting the joys of pig-sticking. 
• At Jodhpur my friend the Maharaja Sir Pertap Sing 
gave us a signal proof, that the ancient valour of the 
Rajputs has not deteriorated in the present day. I had 
wounded a fine boar, and on his making for some rocky 
ground, where I could hardly have followed him on horse- 
back, I shouted to Sir Pertap to get between him and the 
rocks, and turn him in my direction. The Maharaja 
promptly responded, but just as he came face-to-face with 
the boar, his horse put his foot into a hole and fell ; the 
infuriated animal rushed on the fallen rider, and, before 
the latter could extricate himself, gave him a severe wound 
in the leg with his formidable tushes. On going to his 
assistance, I found Sir Pertap bleeding profusely, but 
standing erect, facing the boar and holding the creature 
(who was upright on his hind-legs) at arms' length by his 
mouth. The spear without the impetus given by the horse 
at full speed is not a very effective weapon against the 
tough hide of a boar's back, and on realizing that mine 
did not make much impression, Pertap Sing, letting go his 
hold of the boar's mouth, quickly seized his hind-legs, and 
turned him over on his back, crying : ' Maro, sahib, maroP 


(' Strike, sir, strike !') which I instantly did, and killed him. 
Anyone who is able to realize the strength and weight of 
a wild boar will appreciate the pluck and presence of mind 
of Sir Pertap Sing in this performance. Fortunately, my 
wife and daughter, who had been following the pig-stickers 
in a light cart, were close at hand, and we were able to 
drive my friend home at once. The wound was found to be 
rather a bad one, but it did not prevent Sir Pertap from 
attending some tent-pegging and other amusements in the 
afternoon, though he had to be carried to the scene. 

A few months after my return to England the boar's 
head arrived, set up, and with a silver plate attached to it, 
on which was an inscription commemorating the adventure. 

At Ahmedabad, where the train stopped while we lunched, 
I was presented with an address by the President and 
members of the Municipality, who, ' with loyal devotion to 
Her Imperial Majesty the Queen and Empress of India, to 
whose glorious reign we sincerely wish a continuance of 
brilliant prosperity,' expressed their hope that Lady 
Eoberts and I would have ' a happy voyage home and 
enjoyment of perfect health and prosperity in future.' 

The day before we left Bombay for England, the 
members of the Byculla Club gave me a parting dinner. 
It was with great difficulty I could get through my speech 
in response to the toast of my health on that occasion, for, 
pleased and grateful as I was at this last mark of friend- 
ship and approval from my countrymen, I could not help 
feeling inexpressibly sad and deeply depressed at the 
thought uppermost in my mind, that the time had come 
to separate myself from India and my gallant comrades 
and friends, British and Native. 


In dwelling on the long list of farewell addresses and 
entertainments with which I was honoured on leaving 
India, I feel that I may be laying myself open to the 
charge of egotism ; but in writing of one's own experiences 
it is difficult to avoid being egotistical, and distasteful as it 
is to me to think that I may be considered so, I would 
rather that, than that those who treated me so kindly and 
generously should deem me unmindful or ungrateful. 

Thus ended forty-one years in India. No one can, I 
think, wonder that I left the country with heartfelt regret. 
The greater number of my most valued friendships had 
been formed there ; from almost everyone with whom I had 
been associated, whether European or Native, civilian or 
soldier, I had experienced unfailing kindness, sympathy, 
and support ; and to the discipline, bravery, and devotion 
to duty of the Army in India, in peace and war, I felt 
that I owed whatever success it was my good fortune to 

[ 4 6i ] 


(Referred to at p. 127.) 

The column was composed as follows : 

F Battery, A Brigade, E.H.A., commanded by Colonel 
W. Sterling 

One squadron 10th Hussars, commanded by Major 
Bulkeley ... 

G Battery, 3rd Brigade, K.A., commanded by Major 
Sydney Parry 

2nd Battalion 8th Foot, commanded by Colonel Barry 

Wing 72nd Highlanders, commanded by Lieutenant- 
Colonel F. Brownlow 

Total British troops ... 

12th Bengal Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Hugh 
Gough, V.C. 

No. 1 Mountain Battery, commanded by Captain Kelso 

7th Company Bengal Sappers and Miners ... 

2nd (Punjab Frontier Force) Infantry, commanded by 

Lieutenant-Colonel Tyndall ... 
5th (Punjab Frontier Force) Infantry, commanded by 

Major McQueen 
5th (Punjab Frontier Force) Gurkhas, commanded by 

Major Fitz- Hugh .. 
21st Punjab Infantry, commanded by Major Collis ... 
23rd Pioneers, commanded by Colonel Currie 
29th Punjab Infantry, commanded by Colonel J. J. 


Total natives 
Grand total 



























Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Lindsay commanded the Artillery. 
Colonel ^Eneas Perkins was Commanding Royal Engineer. Colonel 
Hugh Gough commanded the Cavalry, Brigadier- Generals Cobbe 
(17th Footj and Thelwall (21st Punjab Infantry) the two Infantry 
brigades. Major W. Galbraith (85th Foot) was Assistant- Adjutant- 
General ; Major H. Collett, Assistant, and Captains ' Dick ' Kennedy 
and F. Carr. Deputy-Assistant-Quartermasters-General. Captains G. 
de C. Morton and A. Scott, Y.C., Brigade -Majors. Captain A. 
Badcock, Chief Commissariat officer ; Captain J. Colquhoun, Pi. A., 
Commissary of Ordnance ; Major Moriarty, Captain Goad, and Lieu- 
tenant F. Maisey, Transport officers ; Captain A. Wynne (51st Foot), 
Superintendent of Field Telegraphs; Captain B. TVoodthorpe, B.E., 
Superintendent of Surveys ; Deputy - Surgeon - General F. Allen, 
Principal Medical officer ; Rev. J. W. Adams, Chaplain. 

[ 463 ] 


(Referred to at p. 194.) 

Translation of a letter from Major - General Sir Frederick 
Eoberts to His Highness the Amir of Kabul. 

Alikhel, 18th September, 1879. 

(After the usual compliments.) Your Highness's letter of the 28th 
Eamazan, with the enclosures from Herat and Turkestan, reached me 
last night. I have acquainted myself with the contents. I am glad to 
find your Highness is in good health, but sorry to hear of the un- 
fortunate disturbances in your Highness's dominions. Your Highness's 
letter, in original, has been sent with enclosures to His Excellency the 
Viceroy. I have already informed your Highness of the wishes of His 
Excellency the Viceroy, and the reasons for the movements of the 
British troops, and I have requested your Highness to send a confi- 
dential representative to my camp. I am awaiting a reply to that 
letter, and the arrival of your Highness's confidential representative. 

In the meantime I have sent a Proclamation to the tribes, and letters 
to some of the Logar maliks, your Highness's subjects, to assure 
those not concerned in the hateful massacre, and asking them for 
assistance in carriage and supplies on payment. As it appears to me 
proper I should inform your Highness of what I have done, I enclose 
copies of the Proclamation to the tribes and of my letter to the Logar 
malilcs, and hope that your Highness may also issue necessary orders 
for the furtherance of our plans. Kest assured of the support of the 
Government of India. 

[ 464 ] 


(Referred to at p. 195.) 

Notes of an interview between General Sir Frederick Eoberts and 
the Amir's Agents, Mustaufi Habibulla Khan and Wazir Shah 
Mahomed Khan. Dated Alikhel, 23rd September, 1879. 

After compliments, General Eoberts intimated to the Agents that at 
their desire he had granted them a second interview. He now requested 
them to be good enough to speak freely all that they wished him to 

The Mustaufi then spoke in the following sense : The interests of 
England and Afghanistan are the same, and the Amir and his officials 
are deeply grieved at the late occurrences in Kabul. Moreover, the 
Amir is anxious to do whatever the British Government wishes, and 
most desirous that the dignity of the British Government should be 
maintained by any means which may seem proper to the Viceroy. But 
His Highness cannot conceal from himself that the mutinous troops 
and the people in general, ryots as well as soldiers, are in fear of an 
indiscriminate revenge, which will fall alike upon innocent and guilty. 
He hopes, therefore, that measures will be taken to guard against the 
possibility of a general rising consequent on fear. 

The Mustaufi was here reminded of the tenor of General Roberts's 
Proclamation of 15th September. He answered that the people were 
too ignorant to be acted upon by a Proclamation, and then went on as 
follows : 

Of course, it is possible that no such combination may take place. 
The Afghans are selfish, and divided against themselves. Still, lest he 
should be blamed if it should occur, the Amir thinks it right to express 
his opinion, and give the British Government all the information in 
his power. On the whole, his advice, as an earnest friend, is that the 
advance of a British force on Kabul should be delayed for a short time 
(" Panjroz "). In the interval he will endeavour to disarm the Regular 


troops, raise new levies, and, by the aid of the latter, punish all 
concerned in the late abominable outrage. His idea is to get rid of 
Sher Ali's soldiery — always a source of danger — and keep only 15,000 
men for the future. It would be very desirable to delay the advance 
until he could establish his power. The Amir does not mean to imply 
that any Afghan army, were it 50,000 strong, could resist the British. 
The mutinous troops have neither organization nor leaders. But the 
mutinous troops are of all tribes ; and if the British army destroys 
them, as it would undoubtedly do in case of resistance, the whole 
country may combine against the British and the Amir. It is for this 
reason that he advises delay, and that the punishment of the guilty be 
left to him. The Viceroy may rest assured that he will show no 
mercy. He will make an example which will be conspicuous in the 
eyes of the world as the sun at noonday. Already everyone in Kabul 
regards the Amir as an infidel, because of the way in which he and his 
have thrown in their lot with the British Government. 

Notwithstanding all that has been said, however, things might go 
right if the mutinous troops would keep together and attempt a stand. 
But the Amir fears they will not do so. They are more likely to 
scatter here and there, and raise the country. In that case there will 
be constant attacks on the communications of the force, and the 
gathering of supplies will be difficult. They would come chiefly from 
the direction of Ghazni, partly also from Logar. If the tribes rise it 
would be hard to collect them. Only one month remains before the 
setting in of winter. Of course, it is impossible to say what may 
happen. There may be no opposition, and the Amir is in any case 
ready to do what the British Government desires. But he feels it is his 
duty to express his strong opinion that the present season is unsuited 
for a forward movement. 

General Roberts replied that on behalf of the Viceroy he 
thanked the Amir for his kind advice, which he was confident was the 
advice of a friend. He said the matter was important, and required 
careful consideration, and asked whether the Agents had anything 
more to bring forward. 

The Mustaufi then spoke as follows : The Amir's advice to delay the 
advance is that of a sincere friend, and it is the best he can give. But 
if the British Army is to march on Kabul, there is one thing more 
which I am desired to say : let it march in such strength as to crush 
all hopes of mischief, and put down all rebellion throughout the 
country. You cannot wait for reinforcements. If you come, you must 
come in full strength — in sufficient strength to put down all opposition. 
There may be no opposition, but you cannot count on this. 

General Roberts replied : The Amir's advice is of great importance, 

vol. 11. 62 


and must be carefully considered. When His Highness first wrote, 
announcing the outbreak at Kabul and asking for help, the first 
desire of the Viceroy was to send British forces without delay. I 
was ordered to Kuram at once to lead the force here. Simul- 
taneously the Kandahar force was ordered by telegram to return 
to Kandahar, which it was then leaving, and to advance towards 
Kelat-i-Ghilzai, and instructions were issued to collect a third force 
at Peshawar; all this was to help the Amir. The Viceroy from 
the first contemplated the possibility of such a general rising as the 
Amir now fears, and the several armies were, therefore, by His 
Excellency's order, made up to such strength that all Afghanistan 
combined could not stand against them for a moment. The Kandahar 
troops were ready in a very short time, and are now beyond Kandahar, 
on the road to Kabul. * The Peshawar force was rapidly collected and 
pushed on ; and the Amir may rest assured that the British army is 
advancing in ample strength. I will think over the Amir's advice, 
nevertheless, for it is important. But His Highness must remember 
that the late occurrences at Kabul do not affect only the English 
officers and the fifty or sixty men who were treacherously killed — the 
honour of the English Government is concerned ; and so long as the 
bodies of these officers and men remain unburied or uncared for in 
Kabul, I do not believe the English people will ever be satisfied. They 
will require the advance of a British force, and the adequate punishment 
of the crime. Still, the Amir's advice, which I am convinced is that 
of a friend, must be carefully considered, and I will think over it and 
give an answer later. 

The Mustaufi then said : We quite understand what has been said 
about the strength of the British army. Doubtless it is sufficient, and 
all Afghanistan could not stand against it. But the Amir asked us to 
mention, what I have hitherto forgotten, that there are in Turkestan 
24 regiments of Infantry, 6 of Cavalry, and 56 guns. These troops 
were the first to show a disaffected spirit at Mazar-i-Sharif ; and 
putting aside external enemies, there are Abdur Bahman and the sons 
of Azim Khan waiting their chance. Herat again is doubtful ; when 
the troops there hear what has occurred at Kabul, there is no saying 
what they may do. If Abdur Rahman ingratiates himself with these 
people, Herat and Turkestan will be permanently severed from the 
Afghan dominions. This is another reason why the advance of the 
British force should be delayed, in order that the Amir may have time 
to gain over the Herat and Turkestan troops. 

General Roberts replied : All these reasons will have full con- 

* The Agents here seemed surprised and anxious. — H. M. D. 


sideration. The Viceroy's first order was to push on at once to help 
the Amir ; but I am sure His Highness' s advice is friendly, and that 
in any case he will do his utmost to co-operate with the British 
Government. Therefore every consideration will be given to what 
His Highness has desired you to say. 

The Mustaufi : The Viceroy may be sure the Amir will do what he 

The Wazir : When the Amir learnt from General Roberts's letter 
that the Viceroy had given General Koberts power to deal with the 
whole matter, he was veiw pleased, knowing General Eoberts's character 
as a soldier and his kindness of heart. 

General Koberts replied that he would carefully consider the 
proposals brought forward, and give an answer later on. Meanwhile, 
he must request the Agents to stay a day or two in camp until he 
should have thoroughly weighed the Amir's advice, which was of the 
utmost importance to both the British and Afghan Governments. 

The interview then came to an end. 

(Signed) H. M. DUBAND, 

Political Secretary to General Koberts, K.C.B., V.C., 
Commanding Kabul Field Force. 

[468 ] 


(Referred to at p. 248.) 

From Lieutenant-General Sir F. Koberts, K.C.B., V.C., Command- 
ing Kabul Field Force, to A. C. Lyall, Esq., C.B., Secretary to 
the Government of India, Foreign Department. 

Kabul, 22nd November, 1879. 

1. I have the honour to submit a brief account of an interview 
which took place between the Amir Yakub Khan and myself on the 
22nd October. The interview was a private and informal one ; but 
recent events have lent some interest to what passed on the occasion, 
and I have, therefore, thought it desirable that a report should be 
prepared for the information of the Governor-General in Council. 

2. After some conversation upon matters of no special importance, 
the Amir introduced his father's name, and thus gave me the 
opportunity I had often wished to have of leading him on to speak 
naturally and unconstrainedly about Slier Ali Khan's feelings and 
policy during the last ten years. I was most careful to avoid any 
expression of my own views upon the subject in order that I might, if 
possible, obtain from the Amir a perfectly spontaneous and truthful 
account of the circumstances which led, in his opinion, to Sher Ali's 
estrangement from ourselves and rapprochement to Kussia. In this I 
think I succeeded. Yakub Khan spoke readily and freely of all that 
had passed, and needed no question or suggestion from me to declare 
his conviction regarding the cause of his father's unfriendly attitude 
towards us during the past few years. 

3. The substance of the Amir's statement was as follows : 

' In 1869 my father was fully prepared to throw in his lot with you. 
He had suffered many reverses before making himself secure on the 
throne of Afghanistan ; and he had come to the conclusion that his 
best chance of holding what he had won lay in an alliance with the 
British Government. He did not receive from Lord Mayo as large a 


supply of arms and ammunition as he had hoped, but, nevertheless, he 
returned to Kabul fairly satisfied, and so he remained until the visit of 
Saiyad Nur Muhammud to India in 1873. This visit brought matters 
to a head. The diaries received from Saiyad Nur Mahomed during 
his stay in India, and the report which he brought back on his return, 
convinced my father that he could no longer hope to obtain from the 
British Government all the aid that he wanted ; and from that time he 
began to turn his attention to the thoughts of a Kussian alliance. You 
know how this ended. 

' When my father received from the Government of India the letter 
informing him that a British Mission was about to proceed to Kabul, 
he read it out in durbar. The members of the Kussian Embassy were 
present. After the reading was finished, Colonel Stolietoff rose, saluted 
the Amir and asked permission to leave Kabul. If permitted, he 
would, he said, travel without delay to Tashkent, and report the state 
of affairs to General Kauffmann, who would inform the Czar, and thus 
bring pressure to bear on England. He promised to return in six 
weeks or two months, and urged the Amir to do everything in his 
power meanwhile to prevent the British Mission from reaching Kabul. 

' Colonel Stolietoff never returned to Kabul. He lost no time in 
reaching Tashkent, where he remained for a few weeks, and he then 
started for Eussia. 

' The Afghan official, Mirza Mahomed Hassan Khan, generally 
known as the " Dabir-ul-Mulk," who had travelled with Colonel 
Stolietoff from the Oxus to Kabul, accompanied him on his return 
journey to Tashkent. Here the Mirza was detained under pretence 
that orders would shortly be received from the Emperor, until the news 
of my father's flight from Kabul reached General Kauffmann. He was 
then permitted to leave. Two Aides-de-Camp were sent with him, one 
a European, the other a Native of Bokhara. 

' My father was strongly urged by General Kauffmann not to leave 
Kabul. At the same time the members of the Embassy were ordered 
to return to Tashkent, the Doctor being permitted to remain with my 
father if his services were required. 

' Throughout, the Kussian Embassy was treated with great honour, 
and at all stations between Mazar-i-Shariff and Kabul, orders were 
given for the troops to turn out, and for a salute to be fired on their 
arrival and departure.' 

4. I cannot, of course, vouch for the exact words used by Yakub Khan, 
but I am confident that the foregoing paragraph, which is written from 
notes taken at the time contains a substantially accurate record of the 

5. It would be superfluous for me to advance any proof of the fact 


that for one reason or another, Sher Ali did during the latter part of 
his reign fall away from us and incline towards an alliance with Russia. 
But I think the closeness of the connexion between Russia and Kabul, 
and the extent of the Amir's hostility towards ourselves, has not 
hitherto been fully recognized. Yakub Khan's statements throw some 
light upon this question, and they are confirmed by various circum- 
stances which have lately come to my knowledge. The prevalence of 
Russian coin and wares in Kabul, and the extensive military prepara- 
tions made by Sher Ali of late years, appear to me to afford an in- 
structive comment upon Yakub Khan's assertions. Our recent rupture 
with Sher Ali has, in fact, been the means of unmasking and checking 
a very serious conspiracy against the peace and security of our Indian 

6. The magnitude of Sher Ali's military preparations is, in my 
opinion, a fact of peculiar significance. I have already touched upon 
this point in a former letter, but I shall perhaps be excused for noticing 
it again. Before the outbreak of hostilities last year the Amir had 
raised and equipped with arms of precision 68 regiments of Infantry and 
16 of Cavalry. The Afghan Artillery amounted to nearly 300 guns. 
Numbers of skilled artizans were constantly employed in the manufac- 
ture of rifled cannon and breech-loading small arms. More than a 
million pounds of powder, and I believe several million rounds of home- 
made Snider ammunition, were in the Bala Hissar at the time of the 
late explosion. Swords, helmets, uniforms, and other articles of 
military equipment were stored in proportionate quantities. Finally, 
Sher Ali had expended upon the construction of the Sherpur canton- 
ments an astonishing amount of labour and money. The extent and 
cost of this work may be judged of from the fact that the whole of the 
troops under my command will find cover during the winter within the 
cantonment, and the bulk of them in the main line of rampart itself, 
which extends to a length of nearly two miles under the southern 
and western slopes of the Bimaru hills. Sher Ali's original design 
was apparently to carry the wall entirely round the hills, a distance 
of nearly five miles, and the foundations were already laid for a 
considerable portion of this length. All these military preparations 
were quite umiecessary except as a provision for contemplated 
hostilities with ourselves, and it is difficult to understand how their 
entire cost could have been met from the Afghan treasury, the gross 
revenue of the country amounting only to about eighty lacs of rupees 
per annum. 

7. I have referred to the prevalence of Russian coin and wares in 
Kabul as evidence of the growing connexion between Russia and 
Afghanistan. I am unable to find proof that the Czar's coin was 


introduced in any other way than by the usual channels of trade. It 
is quite possible that the bulk of it, if not the whole, came in gradually 
by this means, the accumulation of foreign gold in particular being 
considerable in this country, where little gold is coined. Nevertheless, 
it seems to me a curious fact that the amount of Eussian money in circu- 
ation should be so large. No less than 13,000 gold pieces were found 
among the Amir's treasure alone ; similar coins are exceedingly common 
in the city bazaar ; and great numbers of them are known to be in posses- 
sion of the Sirdars. Of course English goods of all kinds are plentiful 
here — that is inevitable, particularly with a considerable body of Hindu 
merchants settled in the city, but Eussian goods also abound. Glass, 
crockery, silks, tea, and many other things which would seem to be far 
more easily procurable from India than from Eussian territory, are to 
be found in great quantities. A habit, too, seems to have been growing 
up among the Sirdars and others of wearing uniforms of Eussian cut, 
Eussian buttons, Eussian boots and the like. Eussian goods and 
Eussian ways seem, in fact, to have become the fashion in Afghanistan. 

[ 472 ] 


(Referred to at p. 248.) 

Translations of letters from General-Adjutant Von Kauffmann, 
Governor-General of Turkestan, to the address of the Amir of 
Afghanistan, received on 10th Shaban, 1295, through General 
Stolietoff, 9th August, 1878. 

Be it known to you that in these days the relations between the British 
Government and ours with regard to your kingdom require deep con- 
sideration. As I am unable to communicate my opinion verbally to 
you, I have deputed my agent, Major-General Stolietoff. This gentle- 
man is a near friend of mine, and performed excellent services in the 
late Eusso-Turkish war, 'by which he earned favour of the Emperor. 
The Emperor has always had a regard for him. He will inform you 
of all that is hidden in my mind. I hope you will pay great attention 
to what he says, and believe him as you would myself, and, after due 
consideration, you will give him your reply. Meanwhile, be it known 
to you that your union and friendship with the Kussian Government 
will be beneficial to the latter, and still more so to you. The advantages 
of a close alliance with the Russian Government will be permanently 

This friendly letter is written by the Governor- General of Turkestan 
and Adjutant -General to the Emperor, Von Kauffmann, Tashkent, 
Jamadial Akbar, 1295 (=June, 1878). 

To the Amir of the whole of Afghanistan, Sher Ali Khan. 
(After compliments.) Be it known to you that our relations with the 
British Government are of great importance to Afghanistan and its 
dependencies. As I am unable to see you, I have deputed my trust- 
worthy (official) General Stolieteff to you. The General is an old 
friend of mine, and during the late Busso-Turkish war earned the favour 


of the Emperor by his spirit and bravery. He has become well known 
to the Emperor. This trustworthy person will communicate to you 
what he thinks best. I hope you will pay attention to what he says, 
and repose as much confidence in his words as if they were my own ; 
and that you will give your answer in this matter through him. In the 
meantime, be it known to you that if a friendly treaty will be of benefit 
to us, it will be of far greater benefit to yourself. 

General Stolietoff sent the following letter, on his return to Tash- 
kent from Kabul, to the address of the Foreign Minister, Wazir 
Shah Mahomed Khan, dated 23rd of the holy month ofBamazan, 
1295 ( = 21st September, 1878). 

Thank God, I reached Tashkent safely, and at an auspicious moment 
paid my respect to the Viceroy (Yaroni Padishah means ' half king '). 
I am trying day and right to gain our objects, and hope I shall be 
successful. I am starting to see the Emperor to-day, in order to inform 
His Majesty personally of our affairs. If God pleases, everything that 
is necessary will be done and affirmed. I hope that those %uho want 
to enter the gate of Kabul from the east will see that the door is 
closed; then, please God, they will tremble. I hope you will give my 
respects to His Highness the Amir. May God make his life long and 
increase his wealth ! May you remain in good health, and know that 
the protection of God will arrange our affairs ! 

(Signed) General Stolietoff. 

From General Kauffmann to the Amir, dated Tashkent, 8th Zekada, 
1295 ( = 22nd October, 1878). 

(After compliments.) Be it known to you that your letter, dated 
12th Shawal, reached me at Tashkent on the 16th October, i.e., 
3rd Zekada, and I understood its contents. I have telegraphed an 
abstract of your letter to the address of the Emperor, and have sent 
the letter itself, as also that addressed to General Stolietoff, by post to 
Livadia, where the Emperor now is. I am informed on good authority 
that the English want to come to terms with you ; and, as a friend, I 
advise you to make peace with them if they offer it. 

From General Stolietoff to Wazir Shah Mahomed Khan, dated 
8th October, 1878. 

First of all, I hope you will be kind enough to give my respects to the 
Amir. May God make his life long and increase his wealth ! I shall 
always remember his royal hospitality. I am busy day and night in 
his affairs, and, thank God, my labours have not been without result. 


The great Emperor is a true friend of the Amir's and of Afghanistan, 
and His Majesty will do whatever he may think necessary. Of course, 
you have not forgotten what I told you, that the affairs of kingdoms 
are like a coantry which has many mountains, valleys, and rivers. One 
who sits on a high mountain can see things well. By the power and 
order of God, there is no empire equal to that of our great Emperor. 
May God make his life long ! Therefore, whatever our Government 
advises you, you should give ear to it. I tell you the truth that our 
Government is wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. There are 
many things which you cannot understand, but our Government under- 
stands them well. It often happens that a thing which is unpleasant 
at first is regarded as a blessing afterwards. Now, my kind friend, I 
inform you that the enemy of your famous religion wants to make 
peace with you through the Kaisar (Sultan) of Turkey. Therefore you 
should look to your brothers who live on the other side of the river. If 
God stirs them up, and gives the sword of fight into their hands, then 
go on, in the name of God (Bismilla), otherwise you should be as a 
serpent ; make peace openly, and in secret prepare for war, and when 
God reveals His order to you, declare yourself. It will be well, when 
the Envoy of your enemy wants to enter the country, if you send an 
able emissary, possessing the tongue of a serpent and full of deceit, to 
the enemy's country, so that he may with sweet words perplex the 
enemy's mind, and induce him to give up the intention of fighting 
with you. 

My kind friend, I entrust you to the protection of God. May God 
be the protector of the Amir's kingdom, and may trembling fall upon 
the limbs of your enemies ! Amen. 

Write to me soon, and send the letter to the capital. Please write 
in Arabic characters, so that I may be able to read your letter. 

From General Kauffmann to the Amir of Afghanistan, dated 30th 
Zekada ( = 26th November, 1878). 

(After compliments.) I was much pleased to receive your letter, dated 
24th Zekada, 1295 (=18th November, 1878), and to hear of your good 
health. I have also received a copy of the letter which you sent to the 
Governor General. May God be pleased with you. The British 
Ministers have given a pledge to our Ambassador in London that they 
will not interfere with the independence of Afghanistan. I am directed 
by His Majesty the Emperor to communicate this news to you, and 
then, after forming friendship, to go to His Majesty. I intend to go to 
the Kussian capital after I have arranged the affairs of this country 
(Turkestan). As I do not consider it advisable to keep your trusted 
officials, whom you are in want of, here any more, I send Mahomed 


Hassan Khan, Kamuah (Deputy-Governor), and Gholam Haidar Khan, 
with two officers, back to you. I hope you will consider me a well- 
wisher of your kingdom, and write to me now and then. I have given 
instructions that, until 1113' return, every letter of yours which they 
receive at Turkestan should be forwarded to the capital. Your good 
fortune is a cause of happiness to me, and if any troubles come upon 
you, I also shall be grieved. Some presents have been sent by me 
through Mirza Mahomed Hassan, Kamuah ; perhaps they may be 

Translation of a letter from General Kauffmann to General Voz- 
gonoff, dated Zel Hijja, 1295 ( = December, 1878). 

The Amir knows perfectly well that it is impossible for me to assist him 
with troops in winter. Therefore it is necessary that war should not 
be commenced at this unseasonable time. If the English, in spite of 
the Amir's exertions to avoid the war, commence it, you must then 
take leave of the Amir and start for Tashkent, because your presence 
in Afghanistan in winter is useless. Moreover, at such a juncture as 
the commencement of war in Afghanistan, you ought to come here and 
explain the whole thing to me, so that I may communicate it to the 
Emperor. This will be of great benefit to Afghanistan and to Kussia. 

From General Kauffmann to the Amir of Afghanistan, dated 25th 
December, 1878 (Russian, ldtli Muharram, 1296). 

Your letter, dated 27th Zel Hijja ( = 20th November), 1878, has reached 
me. I was pleased to hear tidings of your good health. The Emperor 
has caused the British Government to agree to the continuance of 
Afghan independence. The English Ministers have promised this. 
I earnestly request you not to leave your kingdom. As far as possible, 
consider your own interests, and do not lose your independence. For 
the present come to terms with the British Government. If you do 
not want to go back to Kabul for this purpose, you can write to your 
son, Mahomed Yakub Khan, to make peace with the English as you 
may direct him. Do not leave the soil of Afghanistan at this time, 
because it will be of benefit to you. My words are not without truth, 
because your arrival in Kussian territory will make things worse. 

From General Kauffmann to the Amir of Afghanistan, received at 
Mazir-i- Sharif on the 11th January, 1879. 

I have received your friendly letter, dated 13th Zel Hijja ( = 8th De- 
cember, 1878) . In that letter you asked me to send you as many troops 
as could be got ready. I have written to you a letter to the effect that 
the Emperor, on account of your troubles, had communicated with the 


British Government, and that the Eussian Ambassador at London had 
obtained a promise from the British Ministers to the effect that they 
would not injure the independence of Afghanistan. Perhaps you sent 
your letter before you got mine. Now, I have heard that you have 
appointed your son, Mahomed Yakub, as your Regent, and have come 
out of Kabul with some troops. I have received an order from the 
Emperor to the effect that it is impossible to assist you with troops 
now. I hope you will be fortunate. It all depends on the decree of 
God. Believe me, that the friendship which I made with you will be 
perpetual. It is necessary to send back General Vozgonoff and his 
companions. You can keep Dr. Yuralski with you if you please. No 
doubt the doctor will be of use to you and to your dependents. I hope 
our friendship will continue to be strengthened, and that intercourse 
will be carried on between us. 

'From General Kauffmann to the Amir Sher Ali, dated 29th Decem- 
ber, 1878 (=17 th Muharram, 1296). 

(After compliments.) The Foreign Minister, General Gortchakoff, has 
informed me by telegraph that the Emperor has directed me to trouble 
you to come to Tashkent for the present. I therefore communicate 
this news to you with great pleasure ; at the same time, I may mention 
that I have received no instructions about your journey to St. Petersburg. 
My personal interview with you will increase our friendship greatly. 

Translation of a letter from Major-General Ivanoff, Governor of 
Zarafshan, to the Heir -Apparent, Mahomed Musa Khan, and 

On the 26th of Rabi-ul-Awul, at an auspicious moment, I received 
your letter which you sent me, and understood its contents. I was 
very much pleased, and at once communicated it to General Kauff- 
mann, the Governor-General. With regard to what you wrote about 
the friendly relations between the Russian and Afghan Governments, 
and your own desire for friendship, I have the honour to state that we 
are also desirous of being friends. The friendship between the two 
Governments existed in the time of the late Amir, and I hope that it 
will be increased and strengthened by Amir Mahomed Yakub Khan. 

May God change the wars in your country to happiness ; may peace 
reign in it ; and may your Government be strengthened ! I have been 
forwarding all your letters to the Governor-General, General Kauffmann. 
May God keep you safe ! 

The Zarafshan Province Governor, 

Major-General Ivanoff. 

Written and sealed by the General. 

Written on 29th Mart (March), 1879 (=5th Rabi-ul-Saui, 1296). 


Treaty between the Kussian Government and Amir Sher Ali Khan ; 
written from memory by Mirza Mahomed Nabbi. 

1. The Russian Government engages that the friendship of the 
Russian Government with the Government of Amir Sher Ali Khan, 
Amir of all Afghanistan, will be a permanent and perpetual one. 

2. The Russian Government engages that, as Sirdar Abdulla Khan, 
son of the Amir, is dead, the friendship of the Russian Government 
with any person whom the Amir may appoint Heir-Apparent to the 
throne of Afghanistan, and with the heir of the Heir-Apparent, will 
remain firm and perpetual. 

3. The Russian Government engages that if any foreign enemy 
attacks Afghanistan, and the Amir is unable to drive him out, and asks 
the assistance of the Russian Government, the Russian Government 
will repel the enemy, either by means of advice, or by such other means 
as it may consider proper. 

4. The Amir of Afghanistan will not wage war with any foreign 
power without consulting the Russian Government, and without its 

5. The Amir of Afghanistan engages that he will always report in a 
friendly manner to the Russian Government what goes on in his 

6. The Amir of Afghanistan will communicate every wish and im- 
portant affair of his to General Kauffmann, Governor- General of 
Turkestan, and the Governor- General will be authorized by the Russian 
Government to fulfil the wishes of the Amir. 

7. The Russian Government engages that the Afghan merchants who 
may trade and sojourn in Russian territory will be safe from wrong, 
and that they will be allowed to carry away their profits. 

8. The Amir of Afghanistan will have the power to send his servants 
to Russia to learn arts and trades, and the Russian officers will treat 
them with consideration and respect as men of rank. 

9. (Does not remember.) 

10. I, Major-General Stolietoff Nicholas, being a trusted Agent of the 
Russian Government, have made the above-mentioned Articles between 
the Russian Government and the Government of Amir Sher Ali Khan, 
and have put my seal to them. 



(Referred to at p. 318.) 

Letter from Sirdar Abdur Eahman Khan to Lepel Griffin, Esq., 
dated 15th April, 1880. 

Whereas at this happy time I have received your kind letter. In a 
spirit of justice and friendship you wrote to inquire what I wished in 
Afghanistan. My honoured friend, the servants of the great [British] 
Government know well that, throughout these twelve years of exile in 
the territories of the Emperor of Eussia, night and day I have cherished 
the hope of revisiting my native land. When the late Amir Sher Ali 
Khan died, and there was no one to rule our tribes, I proposed to 
return to Afghanistan, but it was not fated [that I should do so] ; then 
I went to Tashkent. Consequently, Amir Mahomed Yakub Khan, 
having come to terms and made peace with the British Government, 
was appointed Amir of Afghanistan ; but since, after he had left you, 
he listened to the advice of every interested [dishonest] person, and 
raised fools to power, until the ignorant men directed the affairs of 
Afghanistan, which during the reign of my grandfather, who had 
eighteen able sons, was so managed that night was bright like day, 
Afghanistan was, in consequence, disgraced before all States, and 
ruined. Now, therefore, that you seek to learn my hopes and wishes, 
they are these : that as long as your Empire and that of Russia exist, 
my countrymen, the tribes of Afghanistan, should live quietly in ease 
and peace ; that these two States should find us true and faithful, and 
that we should rest at peace between them [England and Russia], for 
my tribesmen are unable to struggle with Empires, and are ruined 
by want of commerce ; and we hope of your friendship that, sym- 
pathizing with and assisting the people of Afghanistan, you will place 
them under the honourable protection of the two Powers. This would 
redound to the credit of both, would give peace to Afghanistan, and 
quiet and comfort to God's people. 

This is my wish ; for the rest, it is yours to decide. 

[ 479 ] 


(Referred to at p. 319.) 

Letter from A. C. Lyall, Esq., C.B., Secretary to the Government of 
India, Foreign Department, to Lepel H. Griffin, Esq., C.S.I., 
Chief Political Officer, Kabul, dated Simla, April, 1880. 

I have the honour to inform you that the Governor- General has 
received and considered in council your telegrams of the 22nd and 
23rd instant, forwarding the translation of a letter received by you 
from Sirdar Abdur Kahman on the 21st instant, together with a 
summary of certain oral explanations which accompanied that letter, 
and a statement of the recommendations suggested by it to Lieutenant- 
General Sir Frederick Koberts and yourself. 

In conveying to you its instructions on the subject of this im- 
portant communication, the Government of India considers it expedient 
to recapitulate the principles on which it has hitherto been acting in 
northern Afghanistan, and clearly to define the point of view from 
which it contemplates the present situation of affairs in that country. 
The single object to which, as you are well aware, the Afghan policy 
of this Government has at all times been directed and limited, is the 
security of the North-West frontier of India. The Government of 
India has, however, no less invariably held and acted on the con- 
viction that the security of this frontier is incompatible with the 
intrusion of any foreign influence into the great border State of 
Afghanistan. To exclude or eject such influence the Government of 
India has frequently subsidized and otherwise assisted the Amirs of 
Kabul. It has also, more than once, taken up arms against them. 
But it has never interfered, for any other purpose, in the affairs of 
their kingdom. Regulating on this principle and limiting to this 
object the conduct of our relations with the rulers of Kabul, it was our 
long- continued endeavour to find in their friendship and their strength 
the requisite guarantees for the security of our own frontier. Failing 


in that endeavour, we were compelled to seek the attainment of the 
object to which our Afghan policy was, and is still, exclusively directed, 
by rendering the permanent security of our frontier as much as possible 
independent of such conditions. 

This obligation was not accepted without reluctance. Not even 
when forced into hostilities by the late Amir Slier Ali Khan's espousal 
of a Russian alliance, proposed by Russia in contemplation of a 
rupture with the British Government, did we relinquish our desire for the 
renewal of relations with a strong and friendly Afghan Power, and, when 
the son of Sher Ali subsequently sought our alliance and protection, they 
were at once accorded to him, on conditions of which His Highness 
professed to appreciate the generosity. The crime, however, which 
dissolved the Treaty of Gandamak, and the disclosures which followed 
that event, finally convinced the Government of India that the interests 
committed to its care could not but be gravely imperilled by further 
' adhesion to a policy dependent for its fruition on the gratitude, the 
good faith, the assumed self-interest, or the personal character of any 
Afghan Prince. 

When, therefore, Her Majesty's troops re-entered Afghanistan in 
September last, it was with two well-defined and plainly-avowed 
objects. The first was to avenge the treacherous massacre of the 
British Mission at Kabul ; the second was to maintain the safeguards 
sought through the Treaty of Gandamak, by providing for their main- 
tenance guarantees of a more substantial and less precarious character. 
These two objects have been attained : the first by the capture of 
Kabul and the punishment of the crime committed there, the second 
by the severance of Kandahar from the Kabul power. 

Satisfied with their attainment, the Government of India has no 
longer any motive or desire to enter into fresh treaty engagements 
with the Rulers of Kabul. The arrangements and exchange of friendly 
assurances with the Amir Sher Ali, though supplemented on the part 
of the Government of India by subsidies and favours of various kinds, 
wholly failed to secure the object of them, which was, nevertheless, 
a thoroughly friendly one, and no less conducive to the security and 
advantage of the Afghan than to those of the British Power. The 
treaty with Yakub Khan, which secured to him our friendship and 
material support, was equally ineffectual. Moreover, recent events 
and arrangements have fundamentally changed the situation to which 
our correspondence and engagements with the Amir of Afghanistan 
formally applied. Our advance frontier positions at Kandahar and 
Kuram have materially diminished the political importance of Kabul 
in relation to India, and although we shall always appreciate the 
friendship of its Ruler, our relations with him are now of so little 


importance to the paramount objects of our policy that we no longer 
require to maintain British agents in any part of his dominions. 

Our only reasons, therefore, for not immediately withdrawing our 
forces from northern Afghanistan have hitherto been — first, the excited 
and unsettled condition of the country round Kabul, with the attitude 
of hostility assumed by some leaders of armed gatherings near Ghazni ; 
and, secondly, the inability of the Kabul Sirdars to agree among them- 
selves on the selection of a Euler strong enough to maintain order 
after our evacuation of the country. 

The first-named of these reasons has now ceased to exist. In a 
minute dated the 30th ultimo, the Viceroy and Governor-General 
stated that ' the Government is anxious to withdraw as soon as possible 
the troops from Kabul and from all points beyond those to be occupied 
under the Treaty of Gandamak, except Kandahar. In order that this 
may be done, it is desirable to find a Kuler for Kabul, which will be 
separated from Kandahar. Steps,' continued His Excellency, ' are 
being taken for this purpose. Meanwhile, it is essential that we 
should make such a display of strength in Afghanistan as will show 
that we are masters of the situation, and will overawe disaffection.' . . . 
1 All that is necessary, from a political point of view, is for General 
Stewart to march to Ghazni, break up any opposition he may find 
there or in the neighbourhood, and open up direct communication with 
General Sir Frederick Koberts at Kabul.' The military operations thus 
defined have been accomplished by General Stewart's successful action 
before Ghazni. 

With regard to the second reason mentioned for the retention of our 
troops in northern Afghanistan, the appearance of Abdur Eahman as a 
candidate for the throne of Kabul, whose claims the Government of 
India has no cause to oppose, and who seems to be approved, and 
likely to be supported, by at least a majority of the population, affords 
fair ground for anticipating that our wishes in regard to the restoration, 
before our departure, of order in that part of the country will now be 

The Governor- General in Council has consequently decided that the 
evacuation of Kabul shall be effected not later than October next, and 
it is with special reference to this decision that the letter and message 
addressed to you by Sirdar Abdur Eahman have been carefully con- 
sidered by His Excellency in Council. 

What first claims notice in the consideration of that letter is the desire 
that it expresses for the permanent establishment of Afghanistan with 
our assistance and sympathy under the joint protection of the British 
and Eussian Empires. This suggestion, which is more fully developed 
in the Sirdar's unwritten message, cannot be entertained or discussed. 

vol. 11. 63 


As already stated, the primary object and declared determination 
of the Government of India have been the exclusion of foreign influence 
or interference from Afghanistan. This cardinal condition of amicable 
relations with Afghanistan has, at all times and in all circumstances, 
been deemed essential for the permanent security of Her Majesty's 
Indian Empire. As such, it has hitherto been firmly maintained by 
successive Governors- General of India under the explicit instructions 
of Her Majesty's Government. Nor has it ever been ignored, or 
officially contested, by the Russian Government. That Government, 
on the contrary, has repeatedly, and under every recent change of 
circumstances in Afghanistan, renewed the assurances solemnly given 
to the British Government that ' Eussia considers Afghanistan as 
entirely beyond the sphere of her influence.' 

It is true that negotiations at one time passed between the two 
Governments with a view to the mutual recognition of certain terri- 
tories as constituting a neutral zone between their respective spheres 
of legitimate influence and action, and that at one time it was proposed 
by Russia to treat Afghanistan itself as a neutral territory. Those 
negotiations, however, having proved fruitless, the northern frontier of 
Afghanistan was finally determined by mutual agreement, and in 1876 
the Russian Government formally reiterated its adherence to the con- 
clusion that, ' while maintaining on either side the arrangement come 
to as regards the limits of Afghanistan, which is to remain outside the 
sphere of Russian action, the two Cabinets should regard as terminated 
the discussions relative to the intermediate zone, which promised no 
practical result.' 

The position of Afghanistan as defined and settled by these engage- 
ments was again distinctly affirmed on behalf of the Queen's Govern- 
ment by the Marquis of Salisbury in 1879, and the Government of 
India unreservedly maintains it in the fullest conviction of its essential 
necessity for the peaceable protection of Her Majesty's Indian 
dominions. It is therefore desirable that you should take occasion to 
inform Abdur Rahman that the relations of Afghanistan to the British 
and Russian Empires are matters which the Government of India 
must decline to bring into discussion with the Sirdar. The Afghan 
states and tribes are too contiguous with India, whose North-Western 
frontier they surround, for the Government of India ever willingly to 
accept partnership with any other Power in the exercise of its legiti- 
mate and recognized influence over those tribes and States. 

The Governor-General in Council is, nevertheless, most anxious that 
the Sirdar should not misunderstand the light in which his personal 
sentiments and obligations towards Russia are regarded by the 
Government of India. So long as the Rulers of Kabul were amenable 


to its advice, this Government has never ceased to impress on them 
the international duty of scrupulously respecting all the recognized 
rights and interests of their Russian neighbour, refraining from every 
act calculated to afford the Russian authorities in Central Asia any 
just cause of umbrage or complaint. The intelligence and good sense 
which are conspicuous in the Sirdar's letter and messages to you will 
enable him to appreciate the difference between conduct regulated on 
these principles and that which cost Sher Ali the loss of his throne. 
This Government does not desire, nor has it ever desired, to impose on 
any Ruler of Kabul conditions incompatible with that behaviour which 
Russia, as a powerful and neighbouring Empire, is entitled to expect 
from him ; least of all can we desire to impose such conditions on a 
Prince who has received hospitality and protection in Russian territory. 
I am therefore to observe that, in the natural repugnance expressed 
by Abdur Rahman to conditions which ' might make him appear un- 
grateful' to those ' whose salt he has eaten,' the Governor-General in 
Council recognizes a sentiment altogether honourable to the Sirdar, 
and perfectly consistent with the sincerity of his professed goodwill 
towards ourselves. 

These observations will furnish you with a sufficient answer to the 
question asked by Abdur Rahman as to the ' nature of our friendship ' 
and ' its conditions.' 

The frankness with which he has explained his position entitles him 
to receive from us a no less unreserved statement of our own. The 
Government of India cordially shares the wish expressed by Abdur 
Rahman that, between the British and Russian Empires, his ' tribes 
and countrymen may live quietly in ease and peace.' We do not 
desire to place them in a position of unfriendliness towards a Power 
which is pledged to us to regard their country as ' entirely beyond the 
sphere of its action.' The injury to Afghan commerce caused by the 
present condition of Afghanistan, to which the Sirdar has alluded, is 
fully appreciated by the Government of India, and on the restoration 
of peace between the two countries the revival and development of 
trade intercourse need present no difficulty. As regards our own 
friendship, it will, if sincerely sought, be freely given, and fully con- 
tinued so long as it is loyally reciprocated. But we attach to it no 
other condition. We have no concessions to ask or make, and the 
Sirdar will therefore perceive that there is really no matter for 
negotiation or bargain between him and us. 

On this point your reply to Abdur Rahman cannot be too explicit. 
Previous to the Sirdar's arrival in Turkestan, the hostility and 
treachery of those whose misconduct he admits and deplores had com- 
pelled the Government of India to make territorial arrangements of a 


material and permanent character for the better protection of our 
frontier. The maintenance of these arrangements is in no wise 
dependent on the assent or dissent, on the good-will or ill-will, of any 
Chief at Kabul. The character of them has been so fully explained by 
you to all the other Kabul Sirdars that it is probably well known to 
Abdur Eahrnan. But in order that our present intercourse and future 
relations with the Sirdar may be perfectly clear of doubt on a point 
affecting the position he aspires to fill, the Governor- General in Council 
authorizes you, if necessary, to make him plainly understand that 
neither the district assigned to us by the Treaty of Gandamak, nor any 
part of the province of Kandahar, will ever be restored to the Kabul 

As regards this last-mentioned province, the Government of India, 
has been authorized by that of Her Majesty to give to Sher Ali Khan, 
the present "Wali of Kandahar, a distinct assurance that he will be 
not only recognized, but maintained, by the British Government as the 
Ruler of that province. Sher Ali Khan is one of the Native nobles of 
Kandahar. He is administering the province with ability, good sense, 
and complete loyalty to the British Government, which has promised 
him the support of a British garrison so long as he requires such 
support. The Governor-General in Council cannot doubt that Sirdar 
Abdur Rahman will readily recognize the obligation incumbent on the 
honour of the British Government to keep faith with all who, whether 
at Kandahar or elsewhere, have proved themselves true and loyal 
adherents. Yakub Khan forfeited our alliance, and with it his. throne, 
by mistrusting the assurances we gave him, and falsifying those which 
he had given to us. If, misled by his example, Yakub Khan's suc- 
cessor attempts to injure or oppress the friends of the British Govern- 
ment, its power will again be put forth to protect or avenge them. 
Similarly, if the next Kabul Ruler reintroduces into his Court or 
country foreign influences adverse to our own, the Government of 
India will again take such steps as it may deem expedient to deal with 
such a case. These contingencies, however, cannot occur if the senti- 
ments of Abdur Rahman are such as he represents them to be. 
Meanwhile, the territorial and administrative arrangements already 
completed by us for the permanent protection of our own interests are 
not susceptible of negotiation or discussion with Abdur Rahman or any 
other claimant to the throne of Kabul. 

To the settlement of Herat, which is not included in these completed 
arrangements, the Governor- General in Council cannot authorize you 
to make or invite any reference in your reply to Abdur Rahman. The 
settlement of the future administration of Herat has been undertaken 
by Her Majesty's Government; with those present views in regard 


to this important question, the Government of India is not yet 

Nor can our evacuation of Kabul constitute any subject for proposals 
in your correspondence with the Sirdar. This measure was determined 
on by the Government of India long before the appearance of Abdur 
Rahman as a candidate for the government of the country we are 
about to evacuate. It has not been caused by the hostility, and is not, 
therefore, conditional on the goodwill, of any Afghan Power. 

The Government of India is, however, very willing to carry out the 
evacuation of Kabul in the manner most conducive to the personal 
advantage of Abdur Eahman, whose interests we believe to be, more 
than those of any other Sirdar, in accordance with the general interests 
of the Afghan people. For this reason it is desirable that you should 
inform Abdur Rahman of our intention to evacuate Kabul, and our 
desire to take that opportunity of unconditionally transferring to his 
authority the whole of the country from which our troops will be 
withdrawn. You are authorized to add that our military and political 
officers at Kabul will be empowered to facilitate any practical arrange- 
ment suggested by the Sirdar for promptly and peaceably effecting, in 
co-operation with him, the transfer thus contemplated on his behalf. 
Such arrangement must, however, be consistent with our obligations 
towards those who have served and aided the British Government 
during our occupation of those territories. 

For this purpose, it appears to the Governor-General in Council 
desirable that the Sirdar should lose no time in proceeding to Kabul, 
and there settling, in conference with General Stewart and yourself, 
such preliminary arrangements as may best promote the undisturbed 
establishment of his future government. 

The Governor -General in Council has, however, no desire to press 
this suggestion, should it appear to the Sirdar that his presence at 
Kabul, previous to the withdrawal of our troops for the purpose of 
personal conference with the British authorities, might have the effect 
of weakening his popularity, or compromising his position in the eyes 
of his future subjects. 

The point is one which must be left entirely to the Sirdar's own 
judgment and inclination. 

But Abdur Rahman is doubtless aware that there are at present, in 
and around Kabul, personages not destitute of influence, who them- 
selves aspire to the sovereignty he seeks, and that the family of Yakub 
has still numerous personal adherents, who may possibly take advantage 
of the withdrawal of our troops to oppose the Sirdar's authority if he 
is not personally present to assert it. 

It should on both sides be remembered and understood that it is not 


the policy of this Government to impose upon the Afghan people an 
unpopular Ruler, or to interfere uninvited in the administration of a 
friendly one. If Abdur Rahman proves able and disposed to conciliate 
the confidence of his countrymen, without forfeiting the good under- 
standing which he seeks with us, he will assuredly find his best support 
in our political appreciation of that fact. Our reason for unconditionally 
transferring to him the government of the country, from which our 
forces will in any case be withdrawn a few months hence, is that, on 
the whole, he appears to be the Chief best able to restore order in that 
country, and also best entitled to undertake such a task. In his 
performance of it he will receive, if he requires it, our assistance. But 
we neither need nor wish to hamper, by preliminary stipulations or 
provisoes, his independent exercise of a sovereignty which he declares 
himself anxious to maintain on a footing of peace and friendship with 
the British Government. 

The present statement of the views and intentions of His Excellency 
the Governor-General in Council respecting Abdur Rahman will enable 
you to represent them with adequate accuracy in j^our reply to the 
Sirdar's friendly overtures, and it will now be your duty to convey to 
Abdur Rahman, without any avoidable delay, the answer of the 
Government of India to the letter and message received from him. 
His Excellency feels assured that you will give full expression to the 
spirit of candour and goodwill in which these communications have 
been received and are reciprocated. 

But I am to impress on your attention the importance of avoiding 
any expression which might appear to suggest or admit matter for 
negotiation or discussion in reference to the relative positions of the 
Sirdar and the Government of India. 

In conclusion, I am to request that on receipt of this letter you will 
be so good as to lose no time in submitting its contents to General Sir 
Donald Stewart, should he then have reached Kabul. In any case, 
you will, of course, communicate them to General Roberts, and act 
upon them in consultation with the chief military authority on the 

[487 ] 


(Referred to at p. 323.) 

Extract from a Beport by Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick 
Roberts, V.C., K.C.B., to the Quartermaster - General in 
India, dated Kabul, 11th April, 1880. 

25. I think I have now dealt with all the points of military import- 
ance connected with the military position in northern Afghanistan, but 
there are a few questions of more general interest which I desire to 
bring to the notice of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief and the 
Government of India. 

26. First with regard to rations. The daily scale of issue to Native 

troops is given in the margin. It has 
Daily ration of Native soldiers : been found throughout the campaign, 

Atta* - 12 chittacksf eyen when the men were emp i oye( i 

Ghi§f - - 1 chittack upon hard work, that ' 12 chittacks ' of 

Salt - - 3 > > ' atta ' daily are amply sufficient for the 

Meat - - 1 lb. bi-weekly Native troops, supplemented, as of late, 
Rum - - 1 dram „ , ^ ,., -,. , ^ 

through the liberality of Government, 

by a bi-weekly issue of 1 lb. of meat. In a climate like Afghanistan, 
where the inhabitants are all meat-eaters, this liberality has been most 
wise. Every endeavour was made, before this sanction was granted, to 
supply the Native portion of the force with meat on payment, and I 
attribute to this in great measure the sound health and excellent stamina 
which they now exhibit. 

With regard to the issue of rum, I would suggest that it should not 
be issued free to Native troops, except under exceptional circumstances 
of fatigue and weather, but that the Commissariat Department should 
be authorized to have in store a sufficiency of rum to admit of a bi- 
weekly issue to such troops as drink the spirit, on -payment, and then 

* Flour. t A chittack = 2 ounces. 

% A kind of pea. § Clarified butter 

Daily ration of 


soldiers : 

Meat - 

- 1£ lb. 


- H „ 


- H „ 

Rice - 

- 4 oz, 

Salt - - 

- § „ 

Tea - - 

- 1 „ 


- 3 „ 

Rum - 

- ldr 


only on the recommendation of the Medical Officer, and under the 
sanction of the General Officer commanding. On all occasions when 
rum is sanctioned, either free or on payment, those who do not partake 
of spirits should be allowed a ration of tea and sugar under similar 

27. The scale of rations for Native followers requires no alteration. 

28. The European rations now under issue in Kabul are as per 
margin, and with reference to them I would 
make the following remarks : The increase of 
\ lb. in bread and meat is, in my opinion, very 
desirable, for not only is the meat, as a rule, on 
service inferior to that served in cantonments, 
but the extras which can be procured from the 
coffee-shop are not here forthcoming. When 
the vegetable ration consists of potatoes, 1 lb. 
is sufficient, but when it is made of mixed vege- 
tables 1^ lb. is necessary. The substitution of dall for any portion of 
the vegetable ration I consider undesirable. 

Tinned soups and meats and biscuits are most valuable, and should 
be liberally supplied to every force in the field. They are portable and 
liked by the men, to whom they furnish a very welcome change of 
diet. I would very strongly recommend that a much larger issue of 
these articles than has hitherto been sanctioned should be provided. 

29. A question which has arisen during this campaign, and which 

may crop up again, has been the provision of firewood for 
cooking to Native troops and followers. Throughout the 
winter firewood could not be purchased at Kabul, and it was absolutely 
necessary to issue it to these men. This was done at the rate of one 
seen- per man, but this amount is not arbitrary, and might, under 
certain circumstances, be diminished. Since roads were re-opened and 
markets re-established the issue of wood has been discontinued. In 
framing any future rules for the guidance of a force in the field, the 
question of providing firewood through the Commissariat Department 
for Native troops and followers, free or on payment, should be vested 
in the General Officers commanding. 

30. The scale of clothing authorized by Government for Native 
troops and followers was found, even in the rigorous climate of 
Afghanistan, to be most liberal, except that during the very coldest 
weather a second blanket was required. This want I was able to meet 
from stock in hand, and as the weather became milder these extra 
blankets were withdrawn and returned into store. Warm stockings, 

* A seer = 2 lb. 


too, are very necessary in a climate where frost-bite is not uncommon ; 

fortunately, some thousands were procured locally and issued to 

followers. The ordinary Native shoe of India, as provided by the 

Commissariat Department, is utterly unfitted for a country 

such as Afghanistan. Major Badcock will send to Peshawar 

(where they can easily be made up) a pattern Kabali shoe, which I am 

convinced would be found admirably suited for Native troops and 

followers crossing the frontier. We are now almost entirely dependent 

on the local market for our shoes. 

A large supply of English-made ammunition boots should always 

. . accompany a force in the field, in order to allow 

Ammunition boots. ,, , T , . , ,, , , ,, 

those Natives who use them, and who are often 

crippled by wearing other descriptions of shoe, to obtain them on pay- 
ment at the moderate rate now fixed, viz., Es. 4 per pair. 

The country-made waterproof sheets, though slightly heavier, have 

proved themselves quite as serviceable, if not more 
Waterproof sheets. , , ,, ^ -, . , , 

so, than the English-made ones. 

At the close of the campaign, I would very strongly recommend that 
an intelligent committee should be required to go thoroughly into these 
questions of clothing for troops, British and Native, and for followers. 
I would also suggest that when a decision is arrived at, sealed patterns 
of every article approved should be deposited at all manufacturing 
centres and in all the large jails, so that when certain articles are 
required they need only be called for, and precious time (often wasted 
in reference and correspondence) saved. 

31. The number of doolie-bearers with the two divisions of the 
Kabul Field Force now at Kabul is 3,536, with the very 
moderate sick report of 35, or 1 per cent, of strength. 

Doolies and dandies are distributed as follows : 

British troops i <J 0ol j es ' 3 P** cent ; 
r ( dandies, 2 per cent. 

XT fc . 1 ( doolies, 2 per cent. 

Natlvetro °P s i dandies, 3 per cent. 

— a percentage which I consider sufficient for field-service, as, in the 

event of any unusual number of casualties, transport animals could 

and would be made use of, and it is most undesirable to increase 

the number of followers. 

The Lushai dandy for this sort of warfare is much preferable to the 

carpet or dhurrie dandy, as it can be made into a 

^' bed, and men are not so liable to fall out of it. 

Bourke's doolie is very good, but liable to get out of order, and 

_ . , , , . difficult to repair when broken ; the ordinary kind is 
Bourke s doolie. , . , -. , . , , 

fairly good and serviceable. 


32. I would urge that in future all field-service tents should be made 

after the pattern of the Mountain Battery tent, 
single fly for Natives, double for Europeans, and 
that the poles should be constructed on the telescopic principle ; that is, 
that no thinning of the wood where it enters the socket should be 
allowed either on uprights or ridge-pole, and that the old system of 
paring away should be abandoned. Instead, the upper section should 
sit flat on the lower. Doubtless the sockets will have to be longer and 
stronger than those now in use, but this is the only means by which 
tents can be adapted to mule and pony carriage, which will no doubt in 
future wars be our chief means of transport. 

33. The TValer horses of the Cavalry and Artillery have stood the 

strain remarkably well, considering the hard work and 
great exposure they have had to bear, and also that for 
a considerable time they were entirely deprived of green food. I feel 
sure this information will be most satisfactory, seeing that, for the 
future, the Artillery and Cavalry in India must mainly depend upon the 
Australian market for their remounts. 

34. As there are some minor points of detail which might advan- 

_, . , tageously be considered by those who have 

Committee to record sugges- , , , , . , . T 

tions on equipment had the experience of recent service, I 

have convened a committee, with Colonel 
MacGregor, C.B., as President, which will take suggestions and 
record opinions regarding packing transport animals, equipment, kit, 
dress, etc., of both officers and men of the several branches of the 
service. From the constitution of the committee, I feel certain that 
their recommendations cannot but be valuable, and I hope to have the 
honour of submitting them shortly for the consideration of His 
Excellency the Commander-in-Chief. 

[ 49i ] 


(Referred to at p. 416.) 

Instructions for the Guidance of General and other Officers 
commanding columns in burma. 

20th November, 1886. 

The following general instructions for the guidance of Brigadier- 
Generals and Officers in Command of columns are published by order 
of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief in India : 

1st. — Columns sent out for the pacification of a district, or in pursuit 
of a particular gang of dacoits, must be amply provided and 
able to keep the field for ten days at least. To enable this 
to be done without employing an undue number of transport 
animals, it is necessary that every endeavour be made to 
obtain grain for Cavalry horses and Transport ponies from 
the villages passed through ; careful inquiry must be made 
as to where supplies can be obtained locally, and the line 
of advance determined accordingly. Arrangements must 
be made for replenishing the supply when necessary from 
depots which must be formed at convenient centres when 
the nature of the operations may necessitate it. These 
depots should be pushed forward from time to time as the 
troops advance. The work of a column obliged to return to 
its base of supply before it has had an opportunity of com- 
pleting the object of the expedition must be more harmful 
than beneficial, as its failure emboldens the enemy and 
weakens the confidence of the people in our power to protect 
them and to reach the offenders. 
2nd. — Where two or more columns are acting in concert, the details 
of time and place* of movement should be settled beforehand 


with the greatest nicety, and the commanding officers of 
all such columns should be provided with the same maps, 
or tracings from them, so that subsequent changes of plan, 
rendered necessary by later information, may be understood 
and conformed to by all. Officers commanding columns 
must do their utmost to get into, and keep up, communica- 
tion with one another. This can be effected by : 
Visual signalling, 
Spies and scouts, 

3rd. — Movements to be executed in concert with the troops in other 
brigades or commands, or likely to tell directly or indirectly 
on the districts commanded by other officers, will be fully 
communicated to those officers, both beforehand and when 
in progress. 
' 4th. — Brigadier -Generals are empowered to give very liberal re- 
muneration for the effective service of guides and for 
information involving danger to those who give it. They 
may delegate this power to selected officers in detached 
commands, but a close watch must be kept on expenditure 
under this head. Opportunities should be afforded to timid 
informers who are afraid to compromise themselves by 
entering camp to interview officers at some distance out 
and in secrecy. 

5th. — Cavalry horses and Mounted Infantry ponies must be saved as 
much as is compatible with occasional forced and rapid 
marches. On ordinary occasions the riders should dis- 
mount, from time to time, and march alongside of their 
horses or ponies. 

6th. — The special attention of all officers is called to the careful 
treatment of pack-animals, and officers in command of 
columns and parties will be held strictly responsible that 
the animals are properly loaded for the march, saved as 
much as possible during it, and carefully attended to and 
fed after it. Officers in command will ascertain by daily 
personal supervision and inspection that these orders are 
carried out. 

1th. — It must be remembered that the chief object of traversing the 
country with columns is to cultivate friendly relations with 
the inhabitants, and at the same time to put before them 
evidences of our power, thus gaining their good-will and 
their confidence. It is therefore the bounden duty of 
commanding officers to ascertain that the troops under 


their command are not permitted to injure the property of 
the people or to wound their susceptibilities. 

8th. — The most injurious accounts of our intentions have been 
circulated amongst, and believed by, the people, and too 
much pains cannot be taken to eradicate this impression, 
and to assure the people both by act and word of our good- 
will towards the law-abiding. Chief men of districts should 
be treated with consideration and distinction. The success 
of the present operations will much depend on the tact with 
which the inhabitants are treated. 

9th.— "When there is an enemy in arms against British rule, all 
arrangements must be made not only to drive him from 
position, but also to surround the position so as to inflict 
the heaviest loss possible. Kesistance overcome without 
inflicting punishment on the enemy only emboldens him to 
repeat the game, and thus, by protracting operations, costs 
more lives than a severe lesson promptly administered, even 
though that lesson may cause some casualties on our side. 
Arrangements should be made to surround villages and 
jungle retreats with Cavalry, and afterwards to hunt them 
closely with Infantry. In the pursuit the broadest margin 
possible will be drawn between leaders of rebellion and the 
professional dacoit on the one part, and the villagers who 
have been forced into combinations against us. Bohs and 
leaders will generally be found heading the column of 
fugitives, and a portion of the Cavalry should be directed to 
pursue them without wasting time over the rank and file of 
the enemy. 

10th. — Unless otherwise ordered, columns of occupation should move 
in short marches, halting at the principal towns and villages. 
This will give civil officers opportunities for becoming 
thoroughly acquainted with their districts, and give military 
officers time to reconnoitre and sketch the country. 

11th. — Where troops are likely to be quartered for some time, 
bamboo platforms should be erected to keep the men off the 
ground. Tents, if afterwards provided, can be pitched on 
the platforms. 

12th. — The greatest latitude will be allowed to Brigadier -Generals 
and officers in local command in ordering and carrying out 
movements for the pacification of their districts. They 
will, however, report as fully as possible all movements 
intended and in progress, through the regular channel, for 
the information of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief. 


13th. — Civil officers will be detailed under the orders of the Chief 
Commissioner to accompany columns. As they are in a 
position to reward loyalty and good service, they will be able 
to obtain more reliable guides and intelligence than the 
military officers can hope to get. The Chief Commissioner 
has authorized selected Burmans, men of position who may 
look for official appointments, being employed as scouts by 
the civil officers of districts and being attached to columns. 
These scouts should wear some distinguishing and con- 
spicuous mark or badge to prevent them being fired on by 
the troops. They should not be called upon to take the 
front when approaching an unbroken enemy, or where 
ambuscades may be expected, but their services will be 
most valuable in gaining information, and later in hunting 
down the individuals of a broken-up gang. 
. 14th. — Absolute secrecy must be maintained regarding movements 
against the enemy and every device resorted to to mis- 
lead him. 

15th. — When civil officers accompany columns, all prisoners will 
be handed over to them for disposal. When no civil 
officer is present, the officer commanding the column will, 
ex officio, have magisterial powers to inflict punishment 
up to two years' imprisonment, or 30 lashes. Offenders 
deserving heavier punishment must be reserved for disposal 
by the civil officers. 

16th. — Officers commanding columns will be held responsible that 
the troops are not kept in unhealthy districts, and that, 
when a locality has proved itself unhealthy, the troops are 
removed at the earliest possible opportunity. Military 
officers are responsible for the location of the troops. The 
requisitions of civil officers will be complied with, when- 
ever practicable, but military officers are to judge in all 
matters involving the military or sanitary suitability of a 

11th. — In the class of warfare in which we are now engaged, where 
night surprises and ambuscades are the only formidable 
tactics of the enemy, the greatest care must be taken to 
ensure the safety of the camp at night. To meet ambus- 
cades, which usually take the form of a volley followed by 
flight, and which, in very dense jungle, it may be impossible 
to discover or guard against by means of flankers, His 
Excellency the Commander-in-Chief would wish the 
following plan to be tried : Supposing, for instance, the 


fire of the enemy to be delivered from the right, a portion 
of the force in front should be ready to dash along the 
road for 100 yards, or so, or until some opening in the 
jungle offers itself. The party should then turn to the right 
and sweep round with a view to intercepting the enemy in 
his flight. A party in rear should similarly enter the jungle 
to their right with the same object. The centre of the 
column would hold the ground and protect the baggage or 
any wounded men. The different parties must be previously 
told off, put under the command of selected leaders, and 
must act with promptitude and dash. Each party must be 
kept in compact order, and individual firing must be pro- 
hibited, except when there is a clear prospect. Past 
experience suggests the adoption of some such plan as the 
above, but in guerilla warfare officers must suit their 
tactics to the peculiar and ever-varying circumstances in 
which they may find themselves engaged. 
18th. — The Government have ordered a general disarmament of the 
country, as soon as the large bands of rebels and dacoits 
are dispersed. The orders for this disarmament direct that 
all firearms are to be taken from the people, but that a 
moderate number may be returned to responsible villagers 
who are loyal and are able to defend themselves. No fire- 
arms will be returned save under registered licenses ; and 
licenses will be given only for villages which can produce a 
certain number (5 to 10) guns, and are either stockaded or 
fenced against sudden attack. The duty of disarming lies 
on civil officers and the police ; but as it is desirable that 
the disarmament should be effected as quickly as possible, 
officers commanding posts and columns will give such 
assistance as may be in their power in carrying it out. 

[ 496] 


(Referred to at p. 456.) 

To His Excellency the Eight Honourable Frederick Baron 
Eoberts of Kandahar and Waterford, Bart., V.C., G.C.B., 
G.C.I.E., B.A., Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's Forces 
in India. 

May it please Your Excellency, 

We, the undersigned, representing the Sikhs of the Panjab, 
most respectfully beg to approach Your Excellency with this humble 
address of farewell on Your Lordship's approaching departure from 
this country. We cannot give adequate expression to the various 
ideas which are agitating our minds at this juncture, relating as 
they do to the past, present, and future, making us feel, at one and 
the same time, grateful, happy, and sorrowful. The success which 
Your Excellency has achieved in Asia is such as makes India and 
England proud of it. The history of the British Empire in India 
has not, at least for the last thirty years, produced a hero like 
Your Lordship, whose soldier-like qualities are fully known to the 
world. The country which had been the cradle of Indian invasions 
came to realize the extent of your power and recognized your 
generalship. The victories gained by Sale, Nott, and Pollock in 
the plains of Afghanistan have been shadowed by those gained by 
Your Excellency. The occupation of Kabul and the glorious battle of 
Kandahar are among the brightest jewels in the diadem of Your 
Lordship's Baronage. Your Excellency's achievements checked the 
aggressive advance of the Great Northern Bear, whose ambitious 
progress received a check from the roar of a lion in the person of 
Your Lordship ; and a zone of neutral ground has now been fixed, and 
a line of peace marked by the Boundary Commission. The strong 
defences which Your Excellency has provided on the frontier add 


another bright stone to the building of your fame, and constitute in 
themselves a lasting memorial of Your Excellency's martial skill. 
Never had any British General to face more arduous tasks, and none 
has proved more completely successful in overcoming them than Your 
Lordship. The result is that India has been rendered safe from the 
fear of invasion from without. Your Excellency is not only adorned 
with heroic qualifications, but the love and affection with which the 
people of India regard Your Lordship show what admirable qualities 
are exhibited in the person of Your Excellency. Terrible in war and 
merciful in peace, Your Excellency's name has become a dread to the 
enemies of England and lovely to your friends. The interest which 
Your Lordship has always taken in the welfare of those with whom 
you have worked in India is well known to everybody. The Sikhs in 
particular are, more than airy other community in India, indebted to 
Your Lordship. We find in Your Excellency a true friend of the Sikh 
community — a community which is always devoted heart and soul to 
the service of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Empress of India. No 
one understands better than Your Excellency the value of a Sikh 
soldier, and we feel very grateful that the military authorities recognize 
the necessity of requiring every Sikh recruit to be baptized according 
to the Sikh religion before admission to the Army — a practice which 
makes the Sikhs more true and faithful, and which preserves the 
existence of a very useful community. The Sikhs are said to be born 
soldiers, but they undoubtedly make very good citizens in time of 
peace also. Unfortunately, however, they have had no opportunity of 
fully developing their mental powers, so as to enable them to advance 
with the spirit of the age. We thank God that Your Excellency was 
among those who most desired to see the Sikhs refined and educated 
by establishing a Central College in the Punjab for the use of the Sikh 
people, and we confidently hope that the Sikhs, of whom a large 
portion is under Your Excellency's command, will give their mite in 
support of this national seminary. The subscriptions given by Your 
Lordship, His Excellency the Viceroy, and His Honour the late Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, were very valuable to the Institution, and the Sikhs 
are highly gratified by the honour Your Excellency has lately given to 
the Khalsa Diwan by becoming its honorary patron. In conclusion, we 
beg only to repeat that it is quite beyond our power to state how much 
we are indebted to Your Excellency, and how much we are affected by 
the news that Your Lordship will shortly leave this land. The very 
idea of our separation from the direct contact of so strong and 
affectionate a leader, as Your Excellency undoubtedly is, makes us 
feel very sorrowful ; but as our hearts and prayers will always be with 
you and Lady Eoberts, we shall be consoled if Your Excellency would 
vol. ii. 64 


only keep us in your memory, and on arrival in England assure Her 
Most Gracious Majesty, the Mother-Empress, that all Sikhs, whether 
high or low, strong or weak, old or young, are heartily devoted to her 
Crown and her representatives in this country. Before retiring, we 
thank Your Excellency for the very great honour that has been done 
to the people of Lahore by Your Lordship's visit to this city. 

[ 499 ] 


(Referred to at p. 456.) 

To His Excellency General the Eight Honourable Frederick 
Baron Roberts of Kandahar and Waterford, Bart., V.C., 
G.C.B., G.C.I.E., R.A., Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's 
Forces in India. 

May it please Your Excellency, 

We are proud to stand in Your Lordship's presence to-day on 
behalf of the Hindus of the Punjab, the loyal subjects of the Queen- 
Empress, who appreciate the countless blessings which British Rule 
has conferred upon this country, to give expression to the feelings of 
gratitude which are uppermost in their hearts. We feel it really an 
honour that we are able to show our appreciation of British Rule in the 
presence of the eminent soldier and statesman who has taken an 
important part in making the India of to-day what it is — contented 
within and strengthened against aggression from abroad. The Punjab 
is the province where the military strength of the Empire is being 
concentrated, and the bravery of the warlike races inhabiting it, which 
furnish the flower of Her Gracious Majesty's forces of the Army in 
India, has been conspicuously displayed on several occasions during 
the last thirty years. We, Hindus, have availed ourselves the most of 
the facilities which British Rule has provided for the progress of the 
people in commercial enterprise, educational advance, and political 
progress. We are, therefore, all the more proud that we have been 
allowed to-day to greet in person the mighty soldier, the sympathetic 
Commander, and the sagacious Statesman, the record of whose dis- 
tinguished career in the East is virtually the history of nearly half a 
century of glorious victories — victories both of peace and war — achieved 
by the British Power in Asia, to show how intense is our gratitude 
towards the Queen-Empress and one of her eminent representatives in 
India, who have striven to do their duty by the people of this country, 


and done it to the satisfaction of the people and of their Gracious 
Sovereign. The interests of India and England are identical, and the 
Hindus of the Punjab regard British rule as a Providential gift to this 
country — an agency sent to raise the people in the scale of civilization. 
Anything that is done to guarantee the continuance of the present 
profoundly peaceful condition of the country is highly appreciated by 
us, and we are, therefore, all the more grateful to Your Lordship for 
all that your courage, foresight, sagacity, and high statesmanship have 
been able to achieve. At a time when all the races and communities 
inhabiting this frontier province, which has been truly described as the 
sword-hand in India, are vying with each other in showing their high 
appreciation of the good work done by Your Excellency, of which not 
the least significant proof lies in the arrangement for the defence of 
the country at all vulnerable points of the frontier, the Hindus are 
anxious to show that they yield to none in the enthusiasm which 
marks the demonstrations held in your honour. But Your Excellency 
commands our esteem and regard on other grounds also. The deep 
interest that you have throughout your career felt in the welfare of the 
sepoy, and the closest ties of genuine friendship which you have 
established with many a notable of our community, have laid us under 
deep obligations to Your Excellency. The encouragement that you 
have given to the organization of the Imperial Service Troops of the 
Native States is also gratefully appreciated by us ; and only the other 
day we were gratified to learn the high opinion Your Excellency 
entertained of the appearance and military equipment of the Imperial 
Service Troops of Jammu and Kashmir, the most important Hindu 
State in this part of India. We should be wanting in duty, we feel,, 
did we not on this occasion give expression to the great regret which 
the news of your approaching departure from India has caused among 
the Hindus of the Punjab, who feel that they are parting from a kind 
friend and a sympathetic Kuler. At the same time, we feel that the 
country will not lose the benefit of your mature experience and wise 
counsel for long ; for we are hopeful that you may some day be called 
upon to guide the helm of the State in India, a work for which you are 
so specially fitted. In conclusion, we have only to pray to the Father 
of All Good that He may shower His choicest blessings upon you and 
your consort — that noble lady who has, in addition to cheering you in 
your hard and onerous work in India, herself done a great deal for the 
comfort of the soldier and the sepoy, and that He may grant you many 
years of happy life — a life which has done so much for the Queen- 
Empress's dominions, and which may yet do much more. 

[ 501 ] 


(Referred to at p. 456.) 

To His Excellency General the Eight Honourable Frederick 
Baron Koberts of Kandahar and Waterford, Bart., V.C., 
G.C.B., G.C.I.E., B.A., Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's 
Forces in India. 

May it please Your Excellency, 

We, the Mahomedans of the Punjab, have dared to approach 
Your Excellency with this address with eyes tear-bedimmed, but a 
face smiling. The departure of a noble and well-beloved General like 
yourself from our country is in itself a fact that naturally fills our eyes 
with tears. What could be more sorrowful than this, our farewell to 
an old officer and patron of ours, who has passed the prominent 
portion of his life' in our country, developed our young progeny to 
bravery and regular soldiery, decorated them with honours, and 
created them to high titles ? Your Excellency's separation is the 
harder to bear for the men of the Punjab because it is our Punjab that 
is proud of the fact that about forty years ago the foundation stone of 
all your famous and noble achievements, which not only India, but 
England, rightly boasts of, was laid down in one of its frontier cities, 
and that the greater part of your indomitable energies was spent in the 
Punjab frontier defence. If, therefore, we are sad at separating from 
Your Excellency, it will not in any way be looked upon as strange. 
But these feelings of sorrow are mixed with joy when we see that the 
useful officer whom in 1852 we had welcomed at Peshawar, when the 
star of his merits was beginning to rise, departs from us in splendour 
and glory in the capacity of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of 
a vast Empire like India, and is an example of the highest type to all 
soldiers. This address is too brief for a detail of all the meritorious 
services rendered by your Excellency in the Punjab, India and other 
foreign countries from that early epoch to this date. Your zeal in the 


Mutiny of 1857, 3-our heroic achievements hi the Abyssinian and 
Afghan wars, your repeated victories of Kandahar, and your states- 
manlike conduct of the Burma wars — all these are facts which deserve 
to be written in golden characters in the annals of Indian history. 
Your appointment as legislative and executive member of the Supreme 
Council of the Government of India for a considerable period has 
proved a source of blessings to the whole of India, and Your Excellency 
deserves an ample share of the credit due to the Council for all its 
useful regulations and reforms. The great liking that men of noble 
birth in India have been showing for some time towards military 
service is a clear demonstration of the excellent treatment received at 
your hands by military officers, as in the reforms made by you in the 
military pay and pension and other regulations. Another boon for 
which the Natives of India will always remember your name with 
gratitude, is that you have fully relied upon, and placed your con- 
fidence in, the Natives, thus uniting them the more firmly to the 
British Crown, making them more loyal, and establishing the good 
relations between the Bulers and the ruled on a firmer footing to their 
mutual good. Especially as Mussalmans of the Punjab are we proud 
that before Your Excellency's departure you have had the opportunity 
of reviewing the Imperial Service Troops of the Mahomedan State of 
Bhawalpur, one of the leading Native States of the Punjab, whose 
Buler's efforts to make his troops worthy to take their place by the 
side of British troops for the defence of India is only one instance of 
the spirit of active loyalty which we are glad to say animates the 
entire Mussalman community of the Punjab. Disturbances arising 
from foreign intrusions are not unknown to us, and we have not 
sufficient words to thank your Lordship for the admirable management 
of the frontier defence work carried on to protect our country from all 
possible encroachments. The greatest pleasure and satisfaction, how- 
ever, that we Mahomedans feel in presenting this address to Your 
Lordship emanates from the idea that you go on your way home to 
your native country with a high and favourable opinion of the 
Mahomedans of India, true and loyal subjects to Her Majesty the 
Queen - Empress, whose number exceeds six crores, and who are 
rapidly growing. During the Mutiny of 1857 the Chieftains and 
soldiers of our nation spared neither money nor arms in the reduction 
and submission of the rebels. Your Lordship is also aware what 
loyalty was displayed by the Mahomedans of India during the Afghan 
and Egyptian wars, waged against their own co-religionists, and the 
cheerfulness shown by them in following your Lordship in all your 
victories. Frontier services, such as the Kabul Embassy and the 
Delimitation Commission, rendered by the officers of our creed are 


also well known to you. We are therefore sanguine that Your Lord- 
ship's own observation will enable all the members of the Ruling race 
in India to form an opinion of the relations that exist between us and 
the British Crown. The Mahomedans of India and the Punjab are 
proud of being the devoted subjects of the Queen-Empress. In so 
acting we perform our religious duties, for our sacred religion enjoins 
upon us faithfulness and obedience towards our Ruling monarch, and 
teaches us to regard the Christians as our own brethren. The regard 
and esteem which we should have, therefore, for a Christian Govern- 
ment, as that of our kind mother the Queen-Empress, needs no 
demonstration. Although, for certain reasons which we need not 
detail here, our nation has been deficient in education, and we have 
been left much behind in obtaining civil employment, we hope that 
your long experience of our service will prove a good testimonial in 
favour of the warlike spirit, military genius, and loyalty of our nation, 
and if the circle of civil employment has become too straitened for us, 
the military line will be generously opened to us. We do not want to 
encroach upon Your Lordship's valuable time any further. We therefore 
finish our address, offering our heartfelt thanks to your Lordship for 
all those kindnesses you have been wont to show during your time 
towards India and Indians in general, and the Punjab and Punjabis in 
particular, and take leave of Your Lordship with the following prayer : 
1 May God bless thee wherever thou mayst be, and may thy generosities 
continue to prevail upon us for a long time.' While actuated by these 
feelings, we are not the less aware that our country owes a great deal 
to Lady Roberts, to whom we beg that Your Excellency will convey 
our heartfelt thanks for her lively interest in the welfare of Indian 
soldiers in particular and the people generally. In conclusion, we 
wish Your Excellencies God-speed and a pleasant and safe voyage. 
That Your Excellencies may have long, happy, and prosperous lives, 
and achieve ever so many more distinctions and honours, and return 
to us very shortly in a still higher position, to confer upon the 
Empire the blessings of a beneficent Rule, is our heartfelt and most 
sincere prayer. 

[ 504 ] 


(Referred to at p. 456.) 

To His Excellency General the Eight Honourable Frederick 
Baron Koberts of Kandahar and "Waterford, Bart., V.C., 
G.C.B., G.C.I.E., B.A., Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's 
Forces in India. 

May it please Your Excellency, 

We, the representatives of the European community in the 
Punjab, are the prouder to-day of our British blood, in that it links us 
in close kinship to one who has so bravely maintained the honour of 
the British Empire alike in the years of peace and storm that India 
has seen during the last three decades. During the Mutiny Your 
Excellency performed feats of gallantry that are historic. Since then 
your career has been one of brilliant success and growing military 
renown. Whenever, in the histories of war, men speak of famous 
marches, that from Kabul to Kandahar comes straightway to the lips. 
When our mind turns to military administration, we remember the 
unqualified success of Your Excellency's career as Quartermaster- 
General and as Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's Forces in India, 
in both of which high offices you have added honour and glory to your 
great name, which will never be forgotten in India. When the private 
soldier, rightly or wrongly, thinks he has a grievance, his desire is only 
that somehow it may be brought to the notice of Your Excellency, 
from whom, through experience, he expects full justice and generous 
sympathy. When we look towards our frontier and see the strategic 
railways and roads, and the strong places of arms that threaten the 
invader, we know that for those safeguards the Empire is in no small 
degree indebted to the resolute wisdom of Your Excellency as military 
adviser to the Government of India. Last, but not least, as a States- 
man, Your Excellency ranks second to none in the Empire in the 
opinion of your countrymen in this North-West frontier province; 


and we should gladly welcome the day, if it might ever arrive, when 
Your Excellency returned to India. It is here that we see most clearly 
the passage of events beyond our borders and mark the signs of 
brooding trouble ; and our hope has always been that, when that 
trouble should break forth, yours might be the hand to guide England's 
flag to victory again. The Punjab is the sword of India, and Your 
Excellency has had the courage to lean most strongly upon that sword. 
It is here that the pulse of the army beats in India ; it is hence that 
the enemies of our country shall feel the downright blow ; and it is 
here that the greatest grief is felt in parting from so true a soldier and 
so far-seeing a Statesman as Your Excellency. It is meet, therefore, 
that here we should assemble upon this occasion of farewell to express 
the great sorrow which we, the representatives of the Europeans in the 
Punjab, feel at the prospect of losing so soon the clear brain and strong 
hand that Your Excellency has always brought to the control of the 
Army in India and to the solution of all questions of political or military 
moment. In doing so, we mourn for the loss of one of the best 
statesmen, the best general, and the best friend to the soldier in India. 
We say nothing of the kindly relations Your Excellency has always 
been able to establish with the other races in India ; our fellow-subjects 
here will doubtless do so in their turn. We say nothing of Your 
Excellency's and Lady Eoberts' charming social qualities, nor Her 
Ladyship's philanthropic work in India. We are here only to express 
our grief at parting with one whom we value so highly for the sake 
of our common country, and our hope that as your past has been full 
of glory to the Empire and honour to yourself, so may your future be ; 
and that you may be spared for many years to wield the sword and 
guide the counsels of our country. 

[ 506 


(Referred to at p. 457.) 

To His Excellency General the Eight Honourable Frederick 
Baron Eoberts of Kandahar and Waterford, Bart., V.C., 
G.C.B., G.C.I.E., E.A., Commander-in-Chief of Her Imperial 
Majesty's Army in India. 

May it please Your Excellency, 

We, the Talukdars of Oudh, as loyal and faithful subjects of the 
Empress of India, avail ourselves of the present opportunity of offering 
Your Excellency a most cordial and respectful welcome to the Capital 
of Oudh. 

The long and valuable services rendered by Your Excellency to the 
Crown and the country are well known to, and are deeply appreciated 
by, us. Your Excellency's wise and vigorous administration of Her 
Majesty's Army in India has won for you our respectful admiration; 
while your prowess in the battle-field, and your wisdom in Council 
during the eventful period of your supreme command of Her Majesty's 
Indian Forces, have inspired us with confidence in your great military 
talents and your single-minded and earnest devotion to duty. In 
many a battle you have led the British Army to victory, and the 
brilliant success which has invariably attended the British Arms under 
Your Excellency's command has added to the glory of the British 

But the pride and pleasure we feel at being honoured by Your 
Excellency's presence in our capital town give place to sorrow and 
regret at the approaching retirement of Your Excellency from the 
great service of which you are an ornament. 

In grateful acknowledgment of the most important services ren- 
dered by Your Excellency to our Empress and our country, we beg to 
be allowed the privilege of presenting you with a Sword of Indian 


manufacture, which will, we hope, from time to time, remind you of 
us and of Oudh. 

Wishing Your Lordship a safe and pleasant voyage home, and a 
long and happy life, 

We subscribe ourselves, 

Your Lordship's most humble 
and obedient servants, 

The Talukdars of Oudh. 



(Referred to at p. 457.) 

To His Excellency General the Eight Honourable Sir Frederick 
Sleigh, Baron Koberts of Kandahar and Waterford, Bart., 
V.C., G.C.B., G.C.I.E., D.C.L., LL.D., E.A., Commander-in- 
Chief in India. 

Your Excellency, 

Viewing with concern and regret your approaching departure 
from India, we beg — in bidding you farewell — to express our admira- 
tion of your life and work as Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial 
Forces in India, and to request you to permit your portrait to be 
placed in the Town Hall of Calcutta, in token for the present genera- 
tion of their high appreciation of your eminent services, and in witness 
to a future generation of the esteem in which you were held by your 

With foresight denoting wise statesmanship, Governments which 
you have served have initiated and maintained a policy of Frontier 
Defence, and encouraged the increased efficiency of the Forces. 

In the furtherance of these objects we recognize the salient points 
of your career and character whilst holding the high rank of Com- 

In your continued efforts to ameliorate the condition of the private 
soldier we recognize broad humanity. In the increasing efficiency of 
the Army, which, in our belief, characterizes your tenure of com- 
mand, we recognize high soldierly qualities. In the state of strength 
which the Frontier Defences have attained, mainly due, we believe, to 
you, we recognize practical sagacity, conspicuous ability in discern- 
ment of requirements, and in pursuit of your aims an unwearying 
industry, a resolute persistence, and a determination that no difficulty 
can turn, in which a noble example for all true workers may be 


In a word, your life and work are to us identified with Frontier 
Defence and Efficient Forces. We cheerfully bear our share of the 
cost, as in possession of these protections against aggression from 
without, we believe all who dwell within the borders of the land will 
find their best guarantee for peace, and in peace the best safeguard 
they and their children can possess to enable them to pass their lives 
in happiness and prosperity, and escape the misery and ruin which 
follow war and invasion. For all that you have done to give them 
such security, we feel you deserve, and we freely give, our heartfelt 

Within the limitations of a farewell address, we hardly feel justified 
in personal allusions trenching on your private life, but we cannot 
refrain from noticing with responsive sympathy the feeling of personal 
attachment to yourself which is widespread throughout India, and 
assuring you that we share in it to the fullest extent that private 
feeling can be affected by public services. We endorse our assurance 
with an expression of the wish that, in whatever part of the British 
Empire your future life may be spent, it may be attended, as in the 
past, with honour, and, by the blessing of God, with health and happi- 
ness for yourself and all those you hold dear. 

It is the prerogative of the Crown alone to bestow honours on those 
who have served their country well, and none have been better merited 
than those which you enjoy, and to which, we trust, additions may be 
made. It is the privilege of a community to make public profession 
of merit in a fellow-citizen where they consider it is due, and in 
availing ourselves of the privilege to make this public recognition of 
the great services which, in our opinion, you have rendered to India, 
we beg with all sincerity to add a hearty Godspeed and a regretful 

We have the honour to be, 

Your Excellency, 

Your obedient servants. 


11th March, 1893. 

[ 5io] 



Abbott, Sir James, i. 52 

Abdulla Jan, ii. 90, 113 

Abdur Rahman, ii. 41, 42, 313, 315, 

316 317, 318, 327, 328, 329, 338, 
' 372, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 452, 

453, 454, 478, 481, 482, 483, 484, 

485, 486 
Adams, Rev. W. J., ii. 142, 143, 275 
Adye, Sir John. ii. 10, 12, 13, 19 
Afzal Khan, ii. 42, 43, 44 
Ahmed Shah Durani, ii. 401 
Aitken, Major, i. 340 
Akbar, The Emperor, i. 38 ; ii. 401 
Ali Khan, ii. 41, 42 
Alison, Sir Arshibald, i. 333 
Allgood, Captain, i. 333, 334, 473 
Amar Sing, Raja, ii. 433 
Anderson. Captain, ii. 144 
Anson, Major Augustus i. 261, 323, 

327, 392, 395, 402 
Anson, General the Hon. G., i. 92, 

93, 94, 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 

104, 105 
Aslam Khan, Lieutenant-Colonel, i. 19 
Ata Mahomed Khan, Nawab, ii. 88 
Auckland, Lord, ii. 46, 104 
Ayub Khan, ii. 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 

336, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 

362, 367, 368, 369, 370, 378, 379 
Azim Khan, ii. 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 
Azimulla Khan, i. 293, 377, 427, 428, 

Aziz Khan, Subadar Major, ii. 131 

Baber, The Emperor, ii. 401 
Badcock, Major, ii. 124, 189, 340, 345 
Bahadur Shah, i. 424, 425, 426 
Baigrie, Colonel, ii. 77 
Baird, Sir David, i. 337 
Baird-Smith, Colonel, i. 182, 18? 214, 
219, 224, 238, 244 

Baker, Sir Thomas, ii. 185, 194, 201 
216, 217 219, 220, 225, 226, 227 
228, 257, 258, 264, 267, 268, 277 
282, 285, 286, 288, 290, 291, 297 
298, 308, 342, 364 < 

Bannatyne, Captain, i. 258 

Barnard, Major-General Sir Henry, i. 
151, 152, 154, 156, 157, 165. 167 
177, 178, 179, 181, 185, 186 

Barnston, Major Roger, i. 325, 331 

Barr, Captain, i. 42, 56 

Barter, Major Richard, i. 223, 229 
Mrs., i. 223 

Batty e, Captain Wigram, ii. 113, 294 
Colonel Arthur, ii. 364 
Frederick, Captain, ii. 294 
Quintin, Lieutenant, i. 163 

Beaconsfield, The Earl of, ii. 86, 313, 

Beadon, Sir Cecil, i. 461 

Becher, Captain, i. 35 

Major-General Arthur, i. 44, 45, 
176, 501 

Bellew, Dr., i. 57; ii. 113, 239 

Benares, Maharaja of, i. 464 

Bentinck, Lord William, i. 421, 432 

Bernard, Sir Charles, ii. 381 s 414, 416 

Bertrand, Father, i. 224 

Bhopal, Begum of, i. 488, 490 ; ii. 430 

Biddulph, Brigadier- General M. ii. 

Biddulph, Colonel, i. 343, 344, 345 

Blackwood, Major, ii. 65 

Blanc, Dr., ii. 32 

Blunt, Colonel, i. 219, 257, 262, 320, 
322, 324 

Booth, Lieutenant, ii. 345 

Bourchier, Sir George, i. 115, 257, 274, 
310, 313, 320, 324, 364; ii. 54, 56, 65 

Bowring, Mr. Lewin, i. 470 

Brabazon, Lieutenant, ii. 145 



Brack enbury, General, ii. 441, 445 

Bradshaw, Dr., ii. 92 

Bright, John, The Right Hon., ii. 409 

Sir Robert, ii. 242, 263, 295, 
302, 325 
Brind. Brigadier Frederick, i. 107 

General Sir James, i. 218, 247 
Brooke, Brigadier-General, ii. 351 
Brown, Lieutenant Rodney, i. 35 

Major Tod, i. 317 
Browne, Doctor John Campbell, i. 194, 

Sir James, ii. 404 

Sir Samuel, i. 315, 409 ; ii. 117, 
127, 157, 165, 172, 183 
Brownlow, Colonel F., ii. 138, 139, 276, 

298, 365 
Brownlow, Sir Charles, ii. 5, 11, 12, 

16, 54, 65 
Bruce, General, i. 387 
Brunow, Baron, ii. 107 
Budgen, Lieutenant, i. 362, 363 
Bunny, Lieutenant Arthur, i. 313, 314 
Burgess, Corporal, i. 230 
Burnes, Sir Alexander, ii. 104, 105 
Burrows, Brigadier, ii. 332, 333, 334, 

335, 356, 363 
Bushman, Colonel, ii. 275 
Butler, Colonel Thos., V.C., i. 400 
Butson, Captain, ii., 286 

Cambridge, H.R.H. the Duke of, i. 
390 ; ii. 38, 39, 372, 382, 437, 439 

Cameron, Captain, ii. 32 
Lance-Sergeant, ii. 365 

Campbell, Colonel, i. 116, 133, 215, 
225, 230, 233, 237 

Campbell, Lady, i. 470 
Major, i. 218 
Sir Colin. See Clyde. 
Sir Edward, i. 470, 471 
Sir George, i. 154, 415 

Canning, Lady, i. 455, 469, 470, 472, 
486, 489, 491 

Canning, Lord, Governor-General and 
Viceroy, condemns action of Meerut 
authorities, i. 82 ; praises General 
Wilson and the Army of Delhi, 255 ; 
advised by Sir Henry Lawrence, 351, 
352 ; not in accord with Sir Colin 
Campbell, 387 ; insists on employ- 
ment of Nepalese troops, 388 ; pro- 
posals regarding native recruits, 435, 
436 ; Viceregal progress, 454-478 ; 
passes the income tax against much 
opposition, 480 ; marches through 
Central India, 485-489 ; durbar at 

Jubbulpore, 487 ; durbar at Luck- 
now, 489 ; durbar at Allahabad, 490 ; 
third durbar at Lucknow, 491 ; 
loses his wife, 491 ; leaves India, 
495 ; unjustly criticized, 495 ; his 
character, 496 ; i. 77, 79, 228 ; ii. 91 

Carey, Captain, i. 288, 289, 290 

Carmichael, Sergeant, i. 230 

Carr, Captain, ii. 133 

Case, Major, i. 340 
Mrs., i. 340 

Cavagnari, Sir Louis, ii. 109, 112, 113, 
114, 115, 116, 157, 165, 169, 170, 
171, 172, 177, 178, 179, 181, 182, 
183, 190, 191, 211, 246, 314 

Chalmers, Major Henry, i. 281 

Chamberlain, Lieutenant-Colonel Craw- 
ford, i. 16, 127, 128. 129, 130, 131, 

Chamberlain, Sir Neville, i. 65, 69, 
114, 187. 191, 192, 193, 204, 238, 
239, 244, 251, 494 ; ii. 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 
10, 112, 113, 114, 116, 117, 124 

Chamberlain, Colonel Neville, ii. 113, 
125, 251, 277, 433 _ 

Chandra Shamsher, ii. 449 

Channer, Captain, ii. 142 

Chapman, Lieutenant-Colonel, ii. 342, 
358, 359 

Chelmsford, Lord, ii. 79 

Chesney, Sir George, ii. 409, 417, 440 

Chester, Colonel, i. 157 

Childers, The Right Hon. Hugh, ii. 
379, 382 

Chisholme, Captain, ii. 286 

Christie, Mr., ii. 183 

Churchill, Lord Randolph, ii. 400 

Clarendon, The Earl of, ii. 107 

Clarke, Lieutenant-Colonel, ii. 218, 
289, 290 

Cleland, Lieutenant-Colonel, ii. 271 
273, 274, 275 

Clerk, Sir George, i. 440 

Clive, Lord, ii.^386 

Clyde, Lord (Sir Colin Campbell), lays 
out cantonment of Peshawar, i. 21 ; 
orders to his men at the Alma, 210 ; 
appointed Commander-in-Chief in 
India, 258 ; starts for relief of Luck- 
now, 296, 297 ; takes command of 
relieving force, 301 ; plans and pre- 
parations for the relief, 303-307 ; 
fixes his Head-Quarters in the Mar- 
tiniere, 311 ; makes a feint, 314 ; 
orders more ammunition, 316, 317 ; 
wounded, 323 ; selects point for 
breach, 324 ; orders assault of Sikan- 



darbagh, 325 ; leads the 93rd to the 
attack, 332 ; his aide - de - camp 
wounded, 333 ; quartered in the Shah 
Najaf, 334 ; his prudence, 335 ; orders 
second assault, 336 ; orders colours 
to be planted on mess-house, 337 ; 
meeting with Havelock and Outram, 
338, 339 ; evacuation of the Resi- 
dency, 342-354 ; thanks the troops 
for their services, 358 ; march to 
Cawnpore, 359-366 ; defeats Nana 
Sahib and Tantia Topi at Cawnpore, 
367-372 ; high opinion of Hope 
Grant, 377 ; favoured Highlanders 
unduly, 383 ; action at Khudaganj, 
383-386 ; invidious selection of com- 
manders, 390 ; prepares for siege of 
Lucknow, 390 ; adopts Napier's plan 
of attack, 396 ; interview with Jung 
Bahadur, 402 ; makes an error of 
judgment, 405-407 ; his good use of 
artillery, 410 ; kindness of heart, 
412, 473 ; accompanies Lord Can- 
ning to Peshawar, 477 ; succeeded 
by Sir Hugh Rose, 481 ; substituted 
helmets for cocked hats, 500 

Cobbe, Brigadier, ii. 136, 141, 145 

Cochin, Raja of, ii. 387 

Coke, Sir John, i. 113, 123, 182, 183, 
184, 185, 201, 203, 237 

Collen, Sir Edwin, ii. 31, 424 

Collett, Major, ii. 124, 134, 135, 189, 

CoLcy, Sir George, ii, 171, 379 

Colvin, Mr., i. 283-285 

Congreve, Colonel, i. 198 

Connaught, H.R.H. the Duchess of, 
ii. 392 

Connaught, H.R.H., the Duke of, ii. 
392 395 

Conolly, Captain, ii. 182, 183, 184, 
188, 190 

Cook, Major, ii. 174, 217, 266, 278 

Cooper, Lieutenant, i. 326 

Coote, Sir Eyre, ii. 387 

Corbett, Brigadier, i. 119 

Cosserat, Captain, i. 315, 409 

Cotton, Captain, ii. 219 

Sir Sydney, i. 23, 45, 46, 47, 48 

Couper, Sir George, ii. 79 

Cowie, Rev. W. G., ii. 13 

Cracklow, Lieutenant, i. 262 

Cranbrook, Earl of, ii. 119, 129, 240, 317 

Craster, Major, ii. 305 

Cross, The Viscount, ii. 411, 418, 437, 

Crosse, Captain, i. 230 

Cunyngham, Lieutenant Dick, ii. 284 
Currie, Colonel, ii. 144 

D'Aguilar, Major, i. 399 

Dalhousie, The Marquis of (Governor- 
General of India), his epitaph on 
Colonel Mackeson, i. 28 ; his Afghan 
policy, 51 ; treaty with Dost Ma- 
homed, 53 ; resigns, 55 ; i. 20, 293, 
419, 420, 422, 425, 433, 434 

Dal Sing, Jemadar, i. 254 

Daly, Sir Henry, i. 113, 170, 238 

Daubeny, Brigadier-General, ii. 363 

Daud Shah, ii. 190, 201, 233, 253, 254, 
256, 301 

Davidson, Colonel, i. 63 

Davison, Lieutenant, ii. 446 

Deb Shamsher Jung, ii. 449 

Delafosse, Lieutenant, i. 294 

Delhi, King of, i. 429 

Denison, Sir William, ii. 12 

Dinker Rao, i. 280, 466 

Disney, Lieutenant, ii. 31 

Dost Mahomed Khan, i. 19, 50, 53, 54, 
55, 56, 57 ; ii. 41, 42, 43, 46, 104, 
105, 311, 327 

Drew, Colonel Barry, ii. 145, 160 

Drummond, Mr., i. 282j 

Drysdale, Sir William, i. 261 

Dufferin, The Marchioness of, ii. 392, 
396, 422 

Dufferin, The Marquis of, ii. 390, 391, 
392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 398, 401, 
402, 411, 414, 418, 422, 423, 424, 
426, 428, 442 

Duke, Dr. Joshua, ii. 290 

Dunbar, Captain, i. 166 

Dundas, Captain, V.C., ii. 306 

Dupuis, Major-General, i. 368 

Durand, Sir Henry, ii. 8 

Sir Mortimer, ii. 186, 235, 250, 
316, 454 

Eden, Sir Ashley, ii. 179 

Edgar, Sir John, ii. 56, 68 

Edwardes, Sir Herbert, Commissioner 
of Peshawar, i. 21 ; his remarkable 
character, 50 ; advocates friendly re- 
lations with Kabul, 50 ; strongly 
supported by Lord Dalhousie, 51 ; I 
his magnanimity, 53 ; John Nichol- 
son's dearest friend, 251 ; i. 32, 33, 

Egerton, Lieutenant, ii. 294 

Elgin, The Earl of, Viceroy of India, 
i. 204, 495, 500 ; ii. 1, 9 

Eliot, Captain, ii. 345 



Ellenborough, Lord, i. 462 

Elles, Lieutenant-Colonel E., ii. 423 

Major- General W. K., ii. 439 
Elphinstone, General, ii. 244, 253, 

Lord, i. 480 

Mountstuart, i. 440 
Elverson, Lieutenant, ii. 345 
Ewart, Sir John, i. 313, 325, 326, 366 

Faiz Mahomed Khan, ii. 113, 114, 115 
Finnis, Colonel, i. 84 
Fitzgerald, Lieutenant, i. 229 
Lieutenant Mordaunt, i. 47 
Lieutenant C, ii. 345 
Fitz-Hugh, Lieutenant-Colonel, ii. 132, 

139, 174, 218, 219, 266 
Forbes, Lieutenant, ii. 284 
Forrest, Mr. George, i. 157, 431 
Forsyth, Sir Douglas, i. 103, 147 ; 

ii. 72 
Franks, Major-General, i. 395, 405 
Fraser, Colonel, i. 285, 286 
Fraser-Tytler, Colonel, i. 206 
French, Captain, i. 276 
Frere, Sir Bartle, i. 491 ; ii. 86 
Fyzabad, Moulvie of, i. 408 

Gaisford, Lieutenant, ii. 293 
Galbraith, Major, ii. 124, 135, 140, 

Ganda Sing, Resaldar Major, i. 408 
Ganda Sing, Bakshi, ii. 167 
Garvock, General, ii. 12, 17 
Gawler, Colonel, i. 497 
Ghazi-ud-din Haidar, i. 330 
Ghulam Haidar Khan, i. 53 
Ghulam Hussein Khan, Nawab Sir, 
ii. 112, 113, 114, 118, 239, 250, 251 
Gibbon, Major, i. 399 
Gladstone, the Right Hon. W. E., ii. 

324, 379, 403 
Goad, Captain, ii. 153, 154 
Gokal Sing, Jemadar, i. 326 
Goldsmid, Sir Frederick, ii. 72 
Gomm, Sir William, i. 43 
Gordon, Captain, i. 245, 257 

Colonel B., ii. 186, 266, 269, 270, 

Colonel John, ii. 131, 133, 137, 

138, 149, 150 
Brigadier-General T. , ii. 199 
Lance-Corporal, ii. 365 
Lieutenant-Colonel, i. 325 
Gortchakoff, Prince, ii. 106 
Gough, Brigadier-General Charles, ii. 
254, 295, 301, 302, 303, 305, 307 


Gough, Captain Bloomfield, ii. 270 
Hugh, Brigadier General, i. 87, 88, 
89, 257, 307, 308, 317, 318, 319, 
320, 411 ; ii. 145, 146, 160, 164, 
186, 240, 272, 279, 304, 342, 
359, 363, 368 
Lord, i. 3 
Sir John, i. 3 
Grant, Lieutenant, ii. 221 

Sir Hope, i. 155, 169, 170, 171, 
232, 235, 237, 258, 287, 2S8, 
296, 297, 299, 306, 311, 317, 
323, 331, 343, 354, 357, 363, 
364, 374, 377, 382, 383, 384, 
389, 390, 391, 392, 394, 395, 
397, 398, 399, 400, 401, 406, 
407, 408, 458, 459, 473 
Sir Patrick, i. 44, 205 
Grant-Duff, Sir Mountstuart, ii. 380 
Grantham, Captain Frank, i. 22 
Graves, Brigadier, i. 198 
Greathed, Brigadier-General, i. 258, 
265, 275, 287, 288, 306, 320, 331, 
365, 367, 368, 369, 384 
Greathed, Lieutenant, 221, 222, 229 
Greaves, Sir George, ii. 337 
Green, Sir George, i. 114, 257, 337 
Greensill, Captain, i. 199 
Greer, Sergeant, ii. 153, 154 
Griffin, Sir Lepel, ii. 316, 317, 318, 
319, 326, 327, 328, 329, 338, 478, 479 
Griffiths, Major, ii. 209, 266, 278 
Guise, Captain, i. 336 
Gurbaj Sing, Subadar-Major, ii. 365 
Gwalior, Maharaja of, i. 466 ; ii. 398, 

Habibulla Khan, Mustaufi, ii. 194, 

314, 319, 326 
Hagenau, Major von, ii. 401 
Haines, Sir Frederick, ii. 85, 98, 184, 

242, 295, 331, 333, 336 
Hakim, Sepoy, ii. 365 
Hale, Brigadier, i. 345 
Hall, Captain, ii. 218, 289 
Hamilton, Lieutenant, ii. 177 

Colonel Ian, ii. 384, 434 
Hammond, Major, ii. 220, 286 

Major A. G. ii. 292 
Hanbury, Surgeon-General, ii. 342 
Hardinge, Hon. Arthur, ii. 82, 385 

The Viscount, i. 421 
Hardy, Captain, i. 310, 324 
Harness, Colonel, i. 368 
Harris, Rev. J., i. 340 
Hartington, the Marquis of, ii. 324 
Hastings, Major, ii. 186, 235, 250, 345 




Havelock, Sir Henry, letter from, i. 
205 ; fails to force his way to Luck- 
now, 209, 257 ; note from, in Greek 
character, 265 ; made K.C.B., 338 ; 
meeting with Sir Colin Campbell, 
339 ; his death, 358 ; i. 269, 286, 
295, 301, 312, 348, 377, 458 

Hawkes, Lieutenant, ii. 345 

Hawthorne, Bugler, i. 230 

Hay, Major, ii. 220 

Hayes, Captain Fletcher, i. 289, 290 
Mrs., i. 340 

Haythorne, Sir Edmund, i. 501 

Hearsay, General, i. 76, 79 

Heath, Sir Leopold, ii. 37 

Heathcote, Lieutenant A. , i. 248 
Major Mark, ii. 186, 325 

Hennessy, Colonel, ii. 360 

Hewitt, General, i. 80, 82, 87 

Hills-Johnes, Lieut. -General Sir James, 
V.C., G.C.B., i. 175, 187 ; ii. 31, 
199, 239, 272 

Hinde, Major, i. 257 

Hodson, Major, i. 154, 209, 237, 249, 
250, 403, 404 

Holkar, Maharaja, i. 467, 487 

Home, Lieutenant, i. 221, 222, 230, 
257, 263 

Hood, General Cockburn, i. 408 

Hope, Colonel the Hon. Adrian, i. 
306, 308, 313, 322, 324, 331, 333, 
364, 367, 368, 369, 377 

Hopkins, Captain, i. 336, 337 

Hornsby, Captain, ii. 363 

Hovenden, Lieutenant, i. 61, 229 

Hudson, Sir John, ii. 160, 287, 299 

Huene, Major von, ii. 401 

Hughes, Major T. E., ii. 11 

Hunt, Captain, ii. 217 

Hyderabad, Nizam of, ii. 97, 387 

Ibrahim, Sultan, ii. 401 
Inderbir Lama, Sepoy, ii. 367 
Inglis, Brigadier, i. 367 

Lady, i. 340 
lanes, Captain McLeod, i. 347, 353 

Jacob, Major, i. 234 

Jacobs, Colour-Sergeant, ii. 365 

Jaipur, Maharaja of, i. 466, 468; ii. 

97, 428 
James, Captain, i. 290 
Jaora, Nawab of, i. 467 
Jelaladin, Ghilzai, ii. 182, 183 
Jenkins, Colonel F., ii. 113, 282, 298, 

304, 322, 323 

Mr. William, ii. 177 

Jervis, Ensign, i. 399 
Jhansi, Rani of, i, 304, 498, 499 
Jhind, Raja of, i. 103, 182, 474 
Johnson, Colonel Alured, ii. 342 

Major Charles, i. 50 

Sir Edwin, i. 176, 220, 235, 239, 
240, 493, 501 ; ii. 38, 72, 81, 84 
Jones, Captain Oliver, i. 392 

Lieutenant-Colonel John, i. 104, 
156, 199, 201 

Brigadier, i. 225, 233 
Jung Bahadur, i, 388, 402 

Sir Salar, ii. 97 

Kapurthala, Raja of, i. 475 

Kashmir, Maharaja of, i. 493 ; ii. 71, 

97, 428, 432, 433, 456 
Kauffmann, General, ii. 88, 110, 111, 

248, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476 
Kavanagh, Mr., i. 301, 302, 311, 321 
Kaye, Major, i. 218 

Sir John, ii. 253 
Keen, Major-General, i. 335 
Kelly, Dr., ii. 177 

Colonel, ii. 447 
Kelso, Captain, ii. 139, 145 
Kennedy, Captain 'Dick,' ii. 125, 209 
Keyes, Sir Charles, ii. 11, 101 
Khan Sing Rosa, i. 238 
Kinleside, Major, i. 315 
Knight, Mr., ii. 446 
Knox, Captain, i. 166 
Komaroff, General, ii. 391 

Lafont, A., i. 428, 429 

Lake, Major Edward, i. 135 
Lord, i. 241 

Lally, Count de, i. 302 

Lang, Colonel, i. 221, 222, 245, 257 

Lansdowne, The Marquis of, ii. 428, 
429, 435, 436, 438, 442, 447, 454 

Lauder, Colour-Sergeant, ii. 365 

Law, Captain, i. 148 

Lawrence, Lord, Chief Commissioner 
of the Punjab, i. 50 ; made K.C.B., 
50 ; opposed to Edwardes* frontier 
policy, 52-54 ; hopeful of affairs im 
Punjab, 79 ; urges advance on Delhi, 
100-102 ; trusts the Phulkian Rajas, 
103 ; his wise measures for preserv- 
ing order in the Punjab, 106, 107, 
113 ; gratitude of Army of Delhi to, 
251 ; begs for return of troops to 
Punjab, 257 ; favours a retirement 
cis-Indus, 477 ; appointed Viceroy, 
ii. 23 ; leaves India for good, 41 ; 
his unique career, 41 ; neutrality 



towards rival Amirs, 43 ; his policy 
of ' masterly inaction,' 46 ; subsi- 
dizes Slier Ali, 47 ; farewell letter to 
the Amir, 47 : i. 53, 58, 70, 104, 178, 
256 ; ii. 49, 108 

Lawrence, Sir Henry, Corps of Guides 
raised under his auspices, i. 45 ; 
first British ruler of the Punjab, 
206 ; foresight in provisioning the 
Lucknow Residency, 290 ; his ad- 
mirable arrangements for its defence, 
312 ; predicted the Mutiny fourteen 
years before its occurrence, 349 ; his 
character as a Statesman and Ruler, 
349-351 ; friendliness for Natives, 
353 ; suggests employment of Nepa- 
lese troops, 388 ; opposed to annexa- 
tion of Oudh, 421 ; letter to Lord 
Canning, 436 ; his dispositions for 
coping with the mutiny, 507-510 ; 
memorandum in his ledger-book, 
510, 511 ; i. 135, 204, 206, 289, 347, 
352, 440 

Lawrence, Captain Sam, V.C., i. 347 
Major Stringer, ii. 387 

Lennox, Sir Wilbraham, i. 306, 337, 

Liddell, Lieutenant, ii. 290 

Little, Brigadier, i. 312, 368 

Lockhart, Sir William, ii. 264, 265, 

Longden, Captain, i. 306, 336 

Longfield, Brigadier, i. 226 

Loughman, Captain, i. 340 

Low, Sir Robert, ii. 326, 345 

Luck, General, ii. 422, 423, 435 

Lugard, Sir Edward, i. 390, 403 

Lumsden, Captain, i. 326 
Sir Harry, i. 45, 57 
Sir Peter, i. 23, 57, 501 ; ii. 39, 
70, 71, 84, 92 

Lyall, Sir Alfred, i. 260, 263, 264 ; 
ii. 176, 183, 316, 337, 339 

Lyons-Montgomery, Lieutenant, ii. 345 

Lytton, The Earl of, i. 467 ; ii. 86, 91, 
93, 94, 96, 98, 99, 100, 102, 111, 
113, 118, 120, 124, 168, 170, 171, 
172, 175, 179, 183, 186, 187, 194, 
205, 234, 242, 245, 295, 313, 315, 
316, 317, 324 

Lytton, The Countess of, ii. 93, 96 

Macdonald, Colour - Sergeant, ii. 200, 

Macdonnell, .Major-General, ii. 82 
Macgregor, Sir Charles, i. 408 ; ii. 186, 

239, 250, 342, 364, 371, 403 

Mackay, Sir James, ii. 457 

Mackenzie, Lieutenant- Colonel A., ii. 

Mackeson, Colonel,!. 21, 26, 27, 28, 34 

Maclaine, Lieutenant, ii. 368 

MacMahon, Private, ii. 218 

Macnabb, Sir Donald, ii. 73 

Macpherson, Sir Herbert, ii. 185, 212, 
214, 215, 222, 223, 227, 253, 254, 
257, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 
269, 270, 271, 272, 276, 277, 278, 
279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 285, 288, 
289, 291, 298, 322, 323, 342, 371, 

Mahomed Hyat Khan, ii. 239 

Jan, 226, 267, 268, 269, 276, 279, 

280, 283, 299, 300 
Usman Khan, i. 19 

Mainpuri, Raja of, i. 288 

Malcolm, Sir John, i. 423, 440 

Mangal Pandy, i. 78 

Manners-Smith, Lieutenant, ii. 186 

Mansfield, Sir William. See Sandhurst 

Martin, Claude, i. 302, 303 
Lieutenant, ii. 219 

Martindale, Miss, i. 265 

Massy, Brigadier-General, ii. 183, 186, 
224, 225, 226, 227, 239, 267, 268, 
269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 276, 277, 
278, 281, 286 

Matthew, Bishop, ii. 27 

Maxwell, Major Henry Hamilton, i. 

Mayne, Lieutenant Otway, i. 296, 297, 
298, 299, 312, 313, 314 

Mayo, Lord. ii. 41, 48, 50, 53, 67, 72, 
108, 247 

Mazr Ali, Jemadar, ii. 274 

McQueen, Sir John, i. 247, 329 ; ii. 

Medley, Lieutenant, i. 221, 222 

Mehtab Sing, General, i. 136, 137 

Merewether, Colonel, ii. 32, 33 

Metcalfe, Sir Charles, i. 440 
Sir Theophilus, i. 234 

Middleton, Major, i. 306, 320, 332 

Mir Mubarak Shah, i. 184 

Moir, Captain, i. 309 

Money, Colonel G. N., ii. 202, 208, 
240, 265, 282, 285 

Montanaro, Lieutenant, ii. 290 

Montgomery, Sir Robert, i. 119 ; ii. 2 

Moore, Major Henry, ii. 57 

Moresby, Captain, i. 1 

Morgan, Captain, ii. 266 

Moriarty, Major, ii. 251 

Mukarrab Khan, Sepoy, i. 326, 327 



Munrp, Sir Thomas, i. 440 
Murphy, Private, i. 294 
Murray, Lieutenant, ii. 218 
Mus'a Khan, ii. 201, 314 
Mushk-i-Alam, ii. 261, 300 
Mysore, Maharaja of, ii. 387 

Nabha, Raja of, i. 103, 474 

Nadir Shah, i. 471 

Nairne, Major-General, ii. 434 

Nana Sahib, i. 292, 293, 374, 375, 390, 

424, 426, 427, 428, 429 
Napier, Ensign, i. 153 
Napier, Lord (of Magdala), i. 163, 220, 
338, 346, 390, 396, 453, 498 ; ii. 33, 
34, 36, 37, 52, 54, 63, 69, 70, 71, 
79, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86 
Najuer, Lord (of Murchiston), ii. 69 

Sir Charles, ii. 98 
Nek Mahomed Khan, ii. 210, 211 
Nepal, Maharaja df, ii. 448, 449, 450, 

451 : , 452 
Neville, Captain Philip, ii. 271, 273 
Nicholson, Lieutenant Charles, i. 114 
237, 254 
Colonel W. G., ii. 403, 423 
John, A name to conjure with in 
the Punjab, i. 59 ; the beau- 
ideal of a soldier and a gentle- 
man, 60 ; punishment of Mehtab 
Sing, 136 ; his soldierly instincts, 
138 ; his determination, 215, 
216 ; the man to do a desperate 
deed, 228 ; does it, 233 ; mor- 
tally wounded, 234 ; the author's 
last sight of him, 236 ; his anger 
at the suggestion of retreat, 239 ; 
his death, 251 ; i. 52, 64, 65, 
6(5, 67, 68, 69, 71, 133, 134, 139, 
208, 214, 221, 227, 229, 235, 
440 ; ii. 13 
Major Lothian, i. 400 
Norman, Sir Henry, i. 23, 149, 204, 
217. 219, 239, 240, 252, 258, 272, 
274, 305, 331, 337, 338, 339, 360, 
485, 493, 494 ; ii. 8, 68 
Northbrook, The Earl of, ii. 73, 79, 80, 

81, 87, 99 
Northcote, Sir Stafford, ii. 38 
Nott, General, ii. 260 
Nugent, Lieutenant, ii. 306 
Nur Jehan, i. 38 
Nuttall, General, ii. 356, 363 

Obed Ulla Khan, Sirdar, ii. 113 
Oldfield, Lieutenant, i. 329 
OlphertsJ Sir William, i. 339 

Omar Pasha, i. 429 

Onslow, Captain, ii. 113 

Oudh, King of, i. 421 422, 424, 429 

Outram, Sir James, i. 290, 295, 301, 
302, 303, 305, 306, 312, 317, 321, 
337, 338, 339, 345, 348, 351, 354, 
357, 358, 359, 389, 390, 395, 397, 
398, 399, 400, 401, 402, 403, 405 
406, 407, 422, 440, 462 

Ouvry, Major, i. 257, 262, 268 

Owen, Dr., ii. 307 

Oxley, Captain, ii. 219 

Packe, Lieutenant, i. 148 

Palmer, Major, ii. 146 

Parry, Major, ii. 219 

Patiala, Maharaja of, i. 103, 474 

Paton, Colonel, i. 501 

Paul, Lieutenant, i. 325, 329 

Payn, Sir William, i. 383, 384 

Peacock, Sir Barnes, i. 3 

Peel, Sir William, i. 296, 306, 313, 320, 

332, 369, 394, 412 
Pelly, Sir Lewis, ii. 87 
Perkins, General Sir iEneas, ii. 133, 

145, 199, 297, 299, 309, 342 
Pertap Sing, Maharaja, ii. 113, 430, 

458 459 
Phayre, Sir Robert, ii. 336, 352, 353, 

355, 360, 362, 376 
Pole-Carew, Captain, ii. 272, 273, 384 
Pollock, General Sir George, ii. 171, 

Sir Frederick, ii. 72 
Polwhele, Brigadier, i. 283, 284, 285 
Powell, Captain, i. 3 ; ii. 153 
Powlett, Captain, i. 336 
Prendergast, Sir Harry, ii. 399, 400 
Pretyman, Captain, ii. 125, 135, 384 
Prideaux, Lieutenant, ii. 32 
Primrose, General, ii. 330, 331, 333, 

354, 356, 358, 360, 362, 363 364 
Probyn, Sir Dighton, i. 114, 237, 257, 

262, 265, 274, 275, 276, 291, 311, 

315, 373, 384, 411 ; ii. 5, 13 
Protheroe, Major, ii. 345 
Prussia, Crown Princess of, ii. 401 
Pursoo Khatri, Jemadar, ii. 174 

Quinton, Mr., ii. 440 

Ragobir Nagarkoti, Subadar, ii. 174 
Ram Sing, Raja, ii. 432, 433 
Rampur, Nawab of, i. 465 
Rao, Sir Madhava, ii. 388, 389 
Rawlinson, Sir Henry, ii. 46, 47 
Reade, Mr.', i. ! 281, 285 ' • • 



Reed, General, i. 49, 58, 68, 186, 191, 

Reegan, Private, i. 207 

Reid, Sir Chas., i. 164, 218, 225 ; ii. 82 

Remmmgton, Captain, i. 257, 274, 310, 
313, 345 

Renwick, Captain, ii. 151 

Rewa, Maharaja of, i. 465 

Rich, Captain, ii. 40 

Ricketts, George, i. 143, 144, 145, 146, 

Ridgeway, Sir West, ii. 316, 345 

Rind, Captain, ii. 345 

Ripon, The Marquis of, ii. 324, 339, 371, 
376, 390 

Roberts, General Sir Abraham, i. 18, 
19, 20, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31 ; ii. 80 

Roberts, Hon. F. S., ii. 69. 70 

Roberts, Lady, i. 451, 452, 453, 455, 
458, 459, 460, 469, 471, 472, 473, 
477, 479, 481, 485, 489, 490, 493, 
494, 495, 497 ; ii. 22, 23, 26, 27, 30, 
31, 38, 39, 40, 51, 52, 69, 70, 77, 81, 
92, 100, 101, 167, 179, 181, 183, 
189, 347, 377, 380, 382, 387, 392, 
402, 410, 411, 412, 450, 451 

Roberts, Lord, leaves England, 1 ; 
arrives in India, 4 ; life in Calcutta, 
4-10 ; journey to Peshawar, 11-17 ; 
at Peshawar, 18-31 ; visits Kashmir, 
35-40 ; joins Horse Artillery, 41 ; 
first visit to Simla, 43 ; returns to 
Peshawar, 45 ; first Staff appoint- 
ment, 47 ; second Staff appointment, 

57 ; refuses appointment in P.W.D.. 

58 ; first meeting with Nicholson, 

59 ; hears first tidings of Mutiny, 
62 ; Staff Officer to Brigadier Cham- 
berlain, 70 ; leaves Peshawar with 
Movable Column, 73 ; en route to 
Delhi, 74-148 ; at Lahore, 118-125 ; 
before Delhi, 149 ; appointed 
D.A.Q.M.G. with Artillery, 177 ; 
first under fire, 180 ; Avounded, 194; 
last sight of Nicholson, 236 ; charger 
killed, 240 ; takes part in storm- 
ing of the palace, 248 ; leaves Delhi 
with Greathed's column for Cawn- 
pore, 258 ; in action at Bulandshahr, 
261 ; narrow escape, 262 ; in fight at 
Aligarh, 267 ; in fight at Agra, 275 ; 
first sight of Taj Mahal, 279 ; arrives 
at Cawnpore, 292 ; meets Sir Colin 
Campbell, 305 ; marches to Lucknow, 
306-310 ; meets with a night adven- 
ture, 316-320 ; in the storming of 
the Sikandarbagh, 321-328 ; in the 

attack on the Shah Najaf, 331-334 ; 
plants the colours on the mess-house, 
337 ; at the relief of the Residency, 
337-341; wins the V.C., 386; at 
the siege of Lucknow, 394-413 ; his 
views on the Mutiny, 414-437 ; on 
our present position in India, 438- 
449 ; takes furlough, 450 ; marries, 
451 ; returns to India, 453 ; refuses 
post in Revenue Survey, 454 ; ac- 
companies Lord Canning on his 
Viceregal progress, 454-478 ; visits 
Simla, 479-482 ; accompanies Lord 
Canning through Central India, 485- 
489 ; returns to Simla, 489 ; ordered 
to Allahabad, 490 ; accompanies 
Commander-in-Chief on tour, 492- 
495 ; returns to Simla, 496 ; again 
on tour with Commander-in-Chief, 
497-500 ; has a sunstroke, 500 ; 
made A.Q.M.G., 501 ; serves with 
Umbeyla Expedition, ii. 1-22 ; 
voyage round the Cape, 24-26 ; serves 
with Abyssinian Expedition, 32-37 ; 
bearer of the Abyssinian despatches, 
38 ; first A.Q.M.G., 39 ; returns to 
India, 40 ; birth of daughter, 52 ; 
serves with Lushai Expedition, 53- 
6.° ; officiating Q.M.G., 81 ; accepts 
command of Punjab Frontier Force, 
100 ; assumes command of Kuram 
Field Force, 121 ; shortcomings of 
his column, 122, 123 ; his able staff, 
124 ; advances into the Kuram 
valley, 127-133 ; takes the Peiwar 
Kotal, 137-148 ; devotion of his 
orderlies, 143 ; congratulated by the 
Queen, 150 ; hampered by want of 
transport, 155 ; punishment of 
treachery, 156 ; action at Khost, 
159 ; misrepresented in the House of 
Commons, 162 ; dismisses a war cor- 
respondent, 165 ; holds a Queen's 
birthday parade, 174 ; says good-bye 
to Cavagnari, 177 ; serves on the 
Army Commission, 179 ; his recom- 
mendations gradually carried out, 
180 ; appointed Commander of Kabul 
Field Force, 184 ; starts for Kabul, 189 ; 
correspondence with Yakub Khan, 
190 ; issues a Proclamation to the 
people of Kabul, 192 ; meeting with 
Yakub Khan, 202 ; issues a Procla- 
mation and an Order, 204 ; takes the 
Shutargardan, 209 ; defeats the 
Afghans at Charasia, 216 - 222 : 
advances on Kabul, 223-228 ; in- 



structions from the Government of 
India, 230-232 ; inspects the Em- 
bassy and the Bala Hissar, 232, 233 ; 
receives abdication of Yakub Khan, 
235 ; issues a Proclamation, 237 ; 
makes a formal entry into Kabul, 
238 ; adopts measures for carrying 
on administration, 239 ; misrepre- 
sented in House of Commons, 239 ; 
congratulated by the Queen and the 
Viceroy, 242 ; wintering at Kabul, 
243-262 ; attacked by the tribesmen 
on all sides, 263-281 ; life saved by 
Mazr Ali, 274 ; storming of the 
Takht-i-Shah, 283 ; further attacks, 
285-291 ; concentrates his forces 
at Sherpur, 292-294 ; strengthens 
his defences, 295 - 300 ; arrests 
Daud Shah, 301 ; defeats and 
disperses the tribesmen, 305 ; re- 
opens communication with India, 
307 ; issues a Proclamation, 307 ; 
fortifies Sherpur, 309 ; negotiations 
at Kabul, 310-320 ; holds a durbar, 
319 ; hands over supreme command 
to Sir Donald Stewart, 325 ; visits 
Jalalabad, 330 ; hears news of Mai- 
wand, 330 ; telegram to Adjutant- 
General, 337 ; appointed Commander 
of Kabul-Kandahar Field Force, 339 ; 
preparations for the march, 339-441 ; 
details of the Force, 342-344 ; com- 
missariat and transport, 345, 346 ; 
starts for Kandahar, 347 ; order of 
marching, 348, 349 ; reaches Ghazni, 
350 ; reaches Kelat-i-Ghilzai, 351 ; 
telegraphs progress to Government, 
352 ; food required daily for the force, 
353 ; down with fever, 354 ; reports 
progress, 354 ; letter from General 
Phayre, 355 ; telegraphs to Simla, 

356 ; reaches Kandahar, 356 ; de- 
moralized condition of the garrison, 

357 ; encamps to the west of the city, 

358 ; reconnoitres the enemy's posi- 
tion, 359 ; assumes command of the 
Army of Southern Afghanistan, 362 ; 
defeats Ayub Khan, 363-367 ; and 
captures his camp, 367 ; telegraphs 
the news, 370 ; difficulties about 
supplies, 371 ; congratulated by the 
Queen and the Duke of Cambridge, 
372; made G.C.B., 372; appointed 
Commander-in-Chief of the Madras 
Army, 372 ; proceeds to Quetta, 372 ; 
parting with the troops, 373 ; pleasant 
memories, 374 ; receives autograph 

letter from the Queen, 376 ; recep- 
tion in England, 376 ; appointed 
Governor of Natal and Commander 
of the Forces in South Africa, 379 ; 
witnesses the manoeuvres of the Ger- 
man Army, 379 ; offered the Quarter- 
master - Generalship, 379 ; proceeds 
to Madras, 380 ; visits the Andaman 
Islands, 380 ; proceeds to Burma, 381 ; 
declines the Quartermaster-General- 
ship, 382 ; measures for improving the 
Madras Army, 383-386 ; memories 
of Madras, 386-389 ; visits Calcutta, 
390 ; meeting with Abdur Rahman 
at Rawal Pindi, 392-397 ; returns to 
Madras, 397 ; appointed Commander- 
in-Chief in India, 398 ; brief visit to 
England, 398 ; accompanies Lord 
Dufferin to Gvvalior, 398 ; proceeds 
to Delhi, 400 ; Camp of Exercise at 
Delhi, 401 ; accompanies Lord 
Dufferin to Burma, 402 ; proceeds 
to the North- West Frontier, 402 ; 
makes a tour of inspection, 402- 
406 ; draws up a memorandum on 
frontier defence, 407-409 ; Lady 
Roberts's Homes, 410-413 ; sends 
reinforcements to Bur-ma, 413 ; 
lands at Rangoon, 414 ; measures 
for pacification of Upper Burma, 
415 ; inspects North- West Frontier 
with General Chesney, 417 ; receives 
Grand Cross of the Indian Empire, 
418 ; establishes "Regimental Insti- 
tutes," 418 ; establishes the Army 
Temperance Association, 419-421 ; 
makes a tour with Lord Dufferin 
along the North-West Frontier, 
422 ; official inspections, 423 ; pre- 
sides over Defence and Mobilization 
Committees, 423-426 ; supports Lord 
Dufferin's scheme for the utilization 
of Native States' armies, 427 ; 
visits the frontier, 429 ; spends 
Christmas in camp, 429 ; visits 
Calcutta, 429 ; makes a tour of 
inspection in Central India and 
Rajputana, 429-431 ; and in Kashmir, 
431-433 ; remodels the system of 
musketry instruction for the Native 
Army, 433 ; improvements in 
Artillery and Cavalry, 434, 435 ; 
visits the frontier with Lord Lans- 
downe, 435, 436 ; offered the post of 
Adjutant-General, 437 ; meets Prince 
Albert Victor in Calcutta, 437 ; 
entertains the Prince at Muridki, 



438 ; extension of command, 439 ; 
meets the Cesarewitch in Calcutta, 

440 ; views on the Native Army, 

441 ; steps taken to increase its 
efficiency, 442 ; concession to the 
Native Army, 443 ; unable to 
remedy the under-officering of Native 
regiments, 444 ; inspects the Zhob 
valley with General Brackenbury, 
445 ; raised to the peerage, 447 ; 
visits Burma, 447 ; visits Nepal, 

448 ; review of the Maharaja's troops, 

449 ; a grand durbar, 450 ; an even- 
ing reception at the palace, 451 ; a 
short tour in the Punjab, 452 ; pro- 
posed Mission to the Amir, 453 ; the 
Mission abandoned, 454 ; adieu to 
Simla, 454 ; final tour in the Punjab, 
455 ; farewell entertainments at 
Lahore, 456 ; at Lucknow, 457 ; and 
at Calcutta, 457 ; pig-sticking at 
Jaipur and Jodhpur, 458 ; address 
from the municipality of Ahmeda- 
bad, 459 ; parting dinner at the 
Byculla Club, 459 ; the end of forty- 
one years in India, 460 

Romanofski, General, ii. 43 
Rose, Sir Hugh. See Strathnairn 
Ross, Sir John, ii. 311, 321, 322, 342, 

362, 364, 366, 397 

Dr. Tyrrell, i. 385, 386, 477 
Russell, Brigadier D., i. 306, 313 335, 
343, 344 

Sir Edward L., ii. 31, 37 
Ruttun Sing, Subadar, i. 254 

St. John, Sir Oliver, ii. 113, 317, 354, 

355, 358 
Saiyad Nur Mahomed, ii. 73, 74, 75, 
76, 98 
ale, Sir Robert, i. 26 ; ii. 171, 253, 330 
Salisbury, The Marquis of, ii. 119, 397 
Salkeld, Lieutenant, i. 229, 230 
Salmon, Sir Nowell, i. 333 
Salmond, Lieutenant, i. 373 
Sandeman, Colonel, i. 140 

Sir Robert, i. 140 ; ii. 88, 372, 
404, 436 
Sandhurst, Lord (Sir William Mans- 
field), i. 301, 323, 331, 354, 355, 356, 

363, 371, 373, 374, 382, 383, 405; 
ii. 26, 28, 39, 52 

Sankar Dass, Native Doctor, ii. 174 
Sarel, Captain, i. 261 
Schouvaloff, Count, ii. 107 
Scott, Major, i. 219 
Shafto, Captain, ii. 241 

Shah Mahomed Khan, Wazir, ii. 195, 
211, 233, 259 

Shah Shuja, i. 19, 26 

Shaidad Khan, Resaidar, i. 129 

Sher Ali, Amir, ii. 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 
47, 48, 49, 50, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 99, 
109. 110, 111, 112, 116, 118, 120, 
156. 157, 168, 172, 247, 261, 312, 
315, 468, 470, 477, 484 

Sherries, Lieutenant, ii. 145 

Sherston, Lieutenant John, ii. 272 

Showers, Brigadier, i. 180, 200, 201 

Sikim, Raja of, ii. 428 

Sindhia, Maharaja, i. 280, 498 ; ii. 96, 

Sirdar Sing, ii. 431 

Skinner, James, i. 241 

Sleeman, Colonel, i. 421 

Smith, Major Euan, ii. 345 

Smyth- Windham, Major, ii. 270, 273 

Spens, Captain, ii. 293 

Spottiswoode, Colonel, i. 112 

Staveley, Sir Charles, ii. 98 

Stewart, John, i. 2 
Patrick, i. 321 

Sir Donald, i. 16, 177, 404, 
411, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506; 
ii. 28, 53, 67, 82, 117, 183, 
199, 310, 315, 317, 321, 322, 
323, 324, 329, 330, 335, 337, 
338, 339, 340, 346, 351, 372, 
382, 384, 392, 3! 
Sir Herbert, ii. 71 

Stewart-Mackenzie, Captain, ii. 274, 

Stillman, Lieutenant, i. 187 

Stolietoff, General, ii. 110, 113, 248 

Strathnairn, Lord (Sir Hugh Rose), i. 
137, 410, 481, 483, 486, 490, 493, 
494, 498, 499 ; ii. 1, 14, 22, 26, 71 

Stratton, Captain, ii. 222, 369 

Sullivan, Gunner, i. 294 

Sultan Jan, Shahzada, ii. 163, 164 

Swat, Akhund of, ii. 4, 8 

Swinley, Captain, ii. 160, 290 

Syad Ahmed Shah, ii. 2, 3 

Symons, Major, ii. 416 

Synge, Captain, i. 230 

Tamerlane, i. 471 

Tanner, Sir Oriel, ii. 351, 352 

Tantia Topi, i. 294, 304, 368, 369, 374, 

378, 379, 498 
Taylor, Corporal, i. 230 

Colonel Reynell, ii. 7, 9, 11, 19, 21 
Sir Alexander, i. 181, 217, 221, 
244 ; ii. 5, 19 



Temple, Sir Richard, ii. 81 
Thebaw, King, ii. 399, 400 
Thelwall, Brigadier, ii. 137 
Theodore, King, ii. 27, 32, 33, 37 
Thomson, Lieutenant, l. 294 
Thornton, Thomas, i. 144 
Tombs, Sir Harry, i. 152, 169, 175, 

187, 220, 237 
Tonk, Nawab of, i. 467 
Townsend, Dr., ii. 200 
Travancore, Maharaja of, ii. 387, 388 
Travers, Lieutenant Eaton, i. 203 

Major, i. 320, 324 
Trevelyan, Sir Charles, i. 480 
Trower, Lieutenant, ii. 286 
Tryon, Sir George, ii. 36 
Turner, Colonel F., i. 275, 391 

Sir W. W., ii. 14, 15, 16, 17 
Tytler, Captain, i. 160 

Udaipur, Maharana of, ii. 97, 430 
Ulwar, Maharaja of, i. 466 ; ii. 431 
Unjur Tiwari, i. 375, 390 

Vandeleur, Major, ii. 360 
Vaughan, Lieutenant, i. 382, 383 

SirT. L.,ii. 14 
Victoria, H. M. Queen, ii. 150, 369, 

372, 376, 439, 447 
Villiers, Colonel, ii. 125 
Vitkievitch, Captain, ii. 104, 105 
Vizianagram, Maharaja of, ii. 387 
Vousden, Captain, ii. 290, 291 

Wales, H.R.H. the Prince of, i. 220; 

ii. 38, 82, 83, 84, 97 
Walidad Khan, i. 263 
Wali Mahomed Khan, ii. 164, 201, 206, 

207, 245, 263, 296 
"Walker, General, i. 114 
Waller, Major Robert, i. 26 
Walpole, Brigadier, i. 369, 381 
Walton, Captain, i. 325, 326 
Warburton, Colonel, ii. 405 
Waterfield. Colonel Garrow, ii. 125, 

151, 158, 186 
Waterford, The Marchioness of, i. 472 
Watson, Sir John, i. 43, 257, 260, 262, 

265, 272, 274, 276, 291, 292, 310, 

311, 315, 321, 393; ii. 167 

Welchman, Colonel, i. 173 
Wellesley, The Marquis, i. 425 
Wheeler, Sir Hugh, i. 204, 293 

Talboys, ii. 93 
White, Sir George, i. 58 ; ii. 216, 219, 

220, 223, 225, 227, 283, 366, 3(57, 

414, 415, 439 
Wilde, Sir Alfred, i. 114, 257, 259, 

327, 408 ; ii. 14, 15 
William L, The Emperor, ii. 401 
Williams, Lieutenant, i. 143, 145, 146 

Major B., ii. 286, 290 
Willoughby, Lieutenant, i. 329 
Wilson, Sir Archdale, i. 152, 154, 157, 

198, 212, 213, 215, 216, 217, 224, 

235, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 243, 

244, 248, 249, 255, 257, 258, 390 
Wilson, Colonel, i. 295 

James, i. 480 
Winchester, Mary, ii. 54, 65 
Windham, Sir Charles, i. 361, 362, 363, 

364, 367, 368, 369 377, 378, 379, 

380, 476 
Wolseley, Lord, i. 336, 411 ; ii. 379 
Wright, Major, i. 66 ; ii. 18. 19 
Wylie, Colonel, ii. 448, 451 ' 
Wynne, Captain, ii. 142, 462 
Wynter, Captain, ii. 345 

Yahia Khan, ii. 233, 258 
Yakub Khan, ii. 88, 89, 156, 157, 168, 
169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 181, 182, 
188, 190, 191, 192, 194, 195, 196, 
197, 201, 202, 203, 204, 207, 210, 
214, 222, 230, 233, 234, 235, 245, 
246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 254, 
255, 258, 262, 299, 301, 314, 316, 
319, 320, 327, 468, 469, 470, 475, 
476, 478, 480, 484 
Yanoif, Colonel, ii. 446 
Yorke, Lieutenant, i. 145 
Younghusband, Captain F., ii. 446 
Lieutenant George, i. 182, 184, 
237, 257, 262, 274, 276, 317, 
318, 384, 385, 386, 401 
Major, i. 140 
Yule, Colour-Sergeant, ii. 285 

Zakariah Khan, ii. 233, 259 




Abdur Rahman proclaimed Amir, ii. 

Abyssinian Expedition, ii. 27-38 
Agra, Fight at, i. 272-278 
Ahmedkhel, Battle of, ii. 322, 351 
Aligarh, Fight at, i. 267 
Alipur, Attack on, i. 182-184 
Army Commission, ii. 179, 180 
Assassination of Lord Mayo, ii. 67, 68 

Barrackpore, Outbreak at, i. 78, 79 
Berhampur, Outbreak at, i. 77 
Berlin Treaty, ii. 110, 111 
Black Mountain Expeditions, ii. 428, 

Bulandshahr, Action at, i. 261 
Burma Expedition, ii. 399, 400, 413- 


Cawnpore, Fight at, i. 367-373 

Massacre at, i. 292-295 
Cesarewitch visits India, ii. 440 
Charasia, Fights at, ii. 216-222, 323 
Chardeh Valley, Fight in the. ii. 270- 

Chitral Expedition, ii. 428, 446, 447 

Delhi, Camp of Exercise at, ii. 400, 401, 

Delhi, Siege of, i. 151-255 ; the first 
victory, 153 ; enthusiasm of the 
troops, 155 ; Barnard's success, 157 ; 
the Flagstaff Tower, 158 ; attacking 
force placed in position, 160 ; de- 
fences, 161 ; death of Quintin Battye, 
163 ; the besiegers besieged, 169 ; 
hard fighting, 171 ; arrival of rein- 
forcements, 179 ; death of Barnard, 
185 ; Reed takes command, 186 ; 
treachery in camp, 191 ; more hard 
fighting, 193 ; sufferings of sick and 
wounded, 195 ; Wilson takes com- 
mand, 198 ; more reinforcements 
arrive, 209 ; Baird - Smith plans 
attack, 214 ; breaching batteries at 
work, 221 ; the assault, 227 ; Nichol- 
son wounded, 234 ; storming of the 
palace, 247 ; Hodson captures the 
King, 249 ; Hodson shoots the 
Princes, 250 ; Nicholson dies, 251 ; 
the siege ended, 251 

Dost Mahomed, Treaty with, i. 50-57 
Death of, ii. 42 

Ferozepore, Outbreak at, i. 126, 127 

Gandamak, Treaty of, ii. 173, 245 
Gwalior fortress, Rendition of, ii. 398 

Hunza-Naga Campaign, ii. 446, 447 

Imperial assemblage of 1877, ii. 91-98 

Jowaki Expedition, i. 29, 31-34 

Kabul, Cavagnari's Mission to, ii. 177 
Expedition, ii. 181-330 
Massacre of Embassy at, ii. 182- 

Repulse of British Mission to, ii. 

Russian Mission to, ii. 109, 110, 
Kandahar, Defeat of Ayub Khan at, 
ii. 362-369 

March to, ii. 337-358 
Khost, Action at, ii. 159 
Khudaganj, Fight at, i. 383-386 
Kohat, Expedition near, ii. 439 
Kuram Expedition, ii. 121-167 

Lucknow, Relief of, i. 305-349 ; Sir 
Colin's preparations, 305 ; the ad- 
vance begun, 307 ; reinforcements 
arrive, 309 ; attack by the enemy, 
312 ; ammunition wanting, 316 ; 
the advance, 321 ; Sir Colin wounded, 
323 ; attack on the Sikandarbagh, 
325 ; the Shah Najaf, 333 ; the re- 
lief effected, 336 ; meeting of the 
Generals, 339 ; the evacuation, 346 

Lucknow, Siege of, i. 394-410 ; Napier's 
plan adopted, 396 ; capture of the 
Chakar Kothi, 399 ; capture of the 
iron bridge, 401 ; visit from Jung- 
Bahadur, 402 ; Hodson mortally 
wounded, 403 ; Sir Colin's mistake, 
406 ; the city taken, 408 

Lushai Expedition, ii. 53-68 

Maiwand, Disaster at, ii. 330, 334, 33£ 
Majuba Hill, Disaster at, ii. 379 



Mandalay, Capture of, ii. 399 
Manipur Expedition, ii. 440 
Meerut, Mutiny at, i. 80-91 
Mianganj, Taking of, i. 391, 392 
Mian Mir, Disarmament at, i. 119-121 
Multan, Disarmament at, i. 127-132 
Mutiny, The, of 1857-1858, i. 62-449 

Causes of, i. 414-437 

Chances of its recurrence, i. 438-449 

First tidings of, i. 62-66 

New light on, i. 431 

Predicted by Sir Henry Lawrence, 
i. 349 ; and by Sir John Mal- 
colm, i. 423 

Oudh, Annexation of, i. 420-424 

Panipat, Three Battles of, ii. 401 
Panjdeh, Incident at, ii. 391, 395, 397 
Peiwar Kotal, Taking of, ii. 130-148 
Persia, War with, i. 55 

Prince Albert Victor visits India, ii. 

437, 438 
Prince of Wales visits India, ii. 82-84 

Royal Proclamation of 1859, i. 454 

Sheorajpur, Fight at, i. 376 
Sher Ali, Death of, ii. 168 

Russian Treaty with, ii. 248, 477 
Shutargardan, Attack on the, ii. 209 
Sikandarbagh, Attack on the, i. 325- 

Sikim Expedition, ii. 428 

Takht-i-Shah, Taking of the, ii. 283, 

284, 285 

j Umbeyla Expedition, ii. 1-22 

| Upper Burma, Annexation of, ii. 402 

I Zhob Expedition, ii. 439 



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Colonel W. P. L'Estrange, R.A. With Introduction by Field-Marshal Lord 
Wolseley, and a Portrait by Lowes Dickinson. Crown 8vo., with Map,7s.6d, 


( 5 ) 

ork0 of Jfrjiml # JExlxtarj) Intmsi — {Continued). 


Forty -one Years in India: 

From Subaltern to Commander-in-Chief. By Field-Marshal the 
Right Hon. Lord Roberts of Kandahar, V.C., K.R, G.C.B., G.C.S.I., 
G.C.I.E. With Portraits of Field-Marshal Lord Roberts, General Sir 
Abraham Roberts, Sir Henry Lawrence, General Nicholson, Sir James 
Outram, Lord Clyde, Sir William Mansfield, Lord Napier of Magdala, Sir 
Donald Stewart, Sir Samuel Browne, Sir Arthur Hardinge, H.H. the Amir 
of Afghanistan ; and Plans of Delhi, Lucknow, Cawnpore, Kabul, Kandahar, 
etc. Twentieth Edition. In 2 vols., demy 8vo., 36s. 


A Veteran of 1812. 

(The Defence of Canada.) The Life of James Fitzgibbon. By his daughter, 
Mary Agnes Fitzgibbon, Author of ' A Trip to Manitoba.' Crown 8vo., 
with Portrait and Illustrations, 7s. 6d. 


The Naval History of Great Britain, 

1793 t0 '820. By William James. With a Continuation to the Battle of 
Navarino, by Captain Chamier. With Portraits of William James, Lord 
Nelson, Sir Thomas Troubridge, Earl St. Vincent, Lord Duncan, Sir Hyde 
Parker, Sir Nesbit Willoughby, Sir William Hoste, Lord Hood, Earl Howe, 
Sir Sidney Smith, Lord Dundonald. 6 vols., crown 8vo., 42s. 
Some further reference to this work will be found on page 7. 


The History of the Indian Navy. 

An Account of the Creation, Constitution, War Services, and Surveys 
of the Indian Navy between the years 161 3 and 1864. By Charles 
Rathbone Low, (late) Indian Navy, F.R.G.S. 2 vols., demy 8vo., 36s. 


The History of the Second Queen s {Royal 
West Surrey) Regiment. 

By Lieut. -Colonel John Davis, F.S.A., Author of 'Records of the Second 
Royal Surrey Militia.' Royal 8vo., with numerous Illustrations. Vol. I., 
1661-1684; Vol. II., 1684-1714; Vol. III., I7I5-I799. are now issued, price 
24s. each. The work will be completed in four volumes. 
The first volume of this work is devoted to an historical account of the English Occupation 
of Tangiers. The completing volume is expected to contain a roll of the Officers of the Regi- 
ment. ' 


Records of the 91st Highlanders, 

Now the ist Battalion of the Princess Louise's Argyll and Suther- 
land Highlanders, containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment 
in 1794, and of its Subsequent Services to 1881. Arranged by Gerald Lionel 
Goff, First Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. With coloured 
plates and numerous other Illustrations. Demy 8vo., 30s. 


6 ) 

orks of Jtatml & Jftilitarg Interest— (Continued). 


The Autobiography of Admiral of the 
Fleet Sir Henry Keppel, G. C.B., D. C.L., 

Author of ' A Voyage to the Indian Archipelago,' etc. From 1809 to 1895. 
With numerous Illustrations by the late Sir Oswald Brierly, Marine Painter 
to Her Majesty. In 2 vols., demy 8vo. \_In the Press. 


Records of the 93rd Highlanders, 

Now the 2nd Battalion Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland 
Highlanders. By Captain Roderick Hamilton Burgoyne, late 93rd 
Highlanders. A history of the Regiment from its formation to the present 
time. With numerous Illustrations of dress, etc. Demy 8vo., 30s. 


A History of the 57th Regiment. 

From 1755 to l8 ^i. Including a Record of the Services of the (West Middle- 
sex) ' Die Hards,' in the American War of Independence, Flanders, the West 
Indies, the Peninsula, France, the Crimea, New Zealand, Zululand, etc. By 
Captain Henry H. Woollright, Middlesex Regiment. With Coloured 
Plates, Maps, and other Illustrations. Demy 8vo., 30s. 


The History of the Honourable Artillery 
Company of London. 

Including also a brief history of the American Branch of the Regiment 
founded at Boston in 1638. By Colonel G. A. Raikes, F.S. A. 2 vols., with 
Portraits, Coloured Illustrations, and Maps, demy 8vo., 31s. 6d. each 


Being the Roll of Members from 161 1 to 1682. Edited, with Notes and 
Illustrations, by Colonel Raikes, F.S. A. Demy 8vo., 21s. 

TO THE COMPANY BY HENRY VIII. IN 1537. Also the Royal 
Warrants issued from 1632 to 1889, and Orders in Council from 1591 to 1634. 
Edited by Colonel Raikes, F.S. A. Thin demy 8vo., 7s. 6d. 

The Roll of Officers of the York and 
Lancaster Regiment. 

Vol. I. The First Battalion, late 65TH Foot. [Out of print. 

Vol. II. The Second Battalion, late 84TH Foot By Colonel G. A. 
Raikes, F.S.A. Demy 8vo., 21s. 

Records of the First Regiment of Militia ; 

or Third West York Light Infantry. By Colonel G. A. Raikes, F.S.A. With 
Eight full-page Illustrations. Demy 8vo., 21s. 

V* For Colonel Fletcher's ' History of the American Civil War, see page 13. 


( 7 ) 

iScrk* on (English Distorg. 


The Rise and Progress of the English 

By Sir Edward Creasy, late Chief Justice of Ceylon. A Popular Account 
of the Primary Principles, and Formation and Development of the English 
Constitution, avoiding Party Politics. Fifteenth Edition. Crown 8vo., 6s. 

The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World. 

By Sir Edward Creasy, late Chief Justice of Ceylon. For Contents see 
page 3. Thirty-seventh Edition, with Plans. Crown 8vo., canvas boards, 
is. 4d. ; or in cloth gilt, red edges, 2s. 
Also, a LIBRARY EDITION. 8vo., with Plans, 7s. 6d. 


The Naval History of Great Britain, 

From the Declaration of War by France, in 1793, to the Accession of 

George IV. By William James. With a Continuation of the History 

to the Battle of Navarino, by Captain Chamier. 6 vols., crown 8vo., with 

Twelve Portraits on Steel, 42s. 

'James, one of the most pertinacious of investigators, set a new example. He honestly did 

his utmost to satisfy himself of the absolute truth of every statement which he submitted to his 

readers. He wrote hundreds of letters to the surviving actors in the events which he purposed to 

describe. He read and digested all the despatches, logs, gazettes, previous histories, foreign 

reports, and private narratives on which he could lay his hands. He carefully balanced conflicting 

accounts, and arrived in the majority of instances at conclusions the correctness of which has never 

yet been successfully attacked. He went to immense pains to give the exact Christian names of 

all officers whom he had occasion to mention, and to analyse the true force of every ship the 

exploits of which he recounted. Never was there a man more painstaking, more indefatigable, 

more scrupulously conscientious.' — Fortnightly Review. 

%* See also page 5. 

The Lost Possessions of England, 

Tangier, Minorca, Cuba, Manila, Dunkirk, Corsica, Buenos Ayres, Java, the 
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The Life of Oliver Cromwell. 

From the French of M. Guizot by Sir Andrew R. Scoble, Q.C. Ninth 
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The Life of Mary Queen of Scots. 

From the French of M. Mignet, by Sir Andrew R. Scoble, Q.C. 
Seventh Edition. With Two Portraits, crown 8vo., 6s. 


( 8 ) 

Itfrk* on Snglxeh Distcrp — {Continued). 


A Life of Arabella Stuart. 

By Emily Tennyson Bradley. 2 vols., crown 8vo., with Portraits and 
Facsimile, 24s. 


The Queens of England of H. of Hanover. 

Sophia Dorothea of Zell (wife of George I.)— Carolina Wilhelmina Dorothea 
(wife of George II.) — Charlotte Sophia (wife of George III.) — Caroline of 
Brunswick (wife of George IV.) — Adelaide of Saxe-Meinengen (wife of 
William IV.). By Dr. Doran, F.S.A., Author of 'Table Traits and 
Something on Them,' etc. Fourth and enlarged Edition. 2 vols., Svo., 25s. 


The Court of London, 

By Richard Rush, United States Minister in London, 1819— 1825. Edited 
by his Son, Benjamin Rush. Demy 8vo., 16s. 


The History of the Factory System, 

From the Earliest Times down to the present day. By Whately Cooke 
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English Whist and Whist Players. 

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the Novelists — Books on Whist and their Authors. 


Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury. 

See page 1 7. 

Memorials of the Cathedral of Chichester. 

From Original Sources, by the Very Rev. W. R. W. Stephens, F.S.A., 
Dean of Winchester, Author of ' The Life and Times of St. John Chry- 
sostom,' etc. Demy 8vo., with Plan of the Cathedral, and Seven Illustra- 
tions, 2 is. 


( 9 ) 

fltkS On (English Jjistorg — {Continued). 

The History of the Post- Office. 

From its establishment down to 1836. By Herbert Joyce, C.B., of the Post- 
Office. Demy 8vo., 16s. 
Earlv Posts. The Battle of the Patents. Thomas Witherings. Edmund Prideaux 
and Clement Oxenbridge. William Dockwra. Cotton and Frankland. American- 
Posts. The Post-Office Act of 1711. Ralph Allen. John Palmer. Francis Free- 
ling. Ireland. 

'A work of great historical value — a work which is not only a history of a particular State 
Department, but also a valuable contribution to the social history of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries.' — The Graphic. 


Forty Years at the Post- Office, 

1850 to 1890. A Personal Narrative. By Frederick E. Baines, C.B., 
sometime Surveyor-General of Telegraphs, Assistant Secretary and Inspector- 
General of Mails. In 2 vols., large crown 8vo., with Portrait, etc. 21s. 

The Northern and Western Mail Roads — Irish and scotch Mails — Penny Postage — St. 
Martin's-le-Grand —The Administration (metropolitan and provincial), with Personal Sketches — 
Inland Posts— Foreign and Colonial Matters — Electric Telegraphs, Rise (1836), their Transfer to 
the State (1870), Inland and Submarine — Methods and Management — Blockaded Mails — The 
Parcel Post— Great Mail-Packet Companies— The Overland Route to India and Australia— The 

' A valuable record of work done, by one who was himself behind the scenes, and a storehouse 
of anecdote and reminiscence.' — Daily Telegraph. 

' Not only the result of ripe experience and varied talents judiciously applied, but contains 
valuable material for the statesman, the economist, and the tuture historian.' — Athenceum. 

' The volumes for the most part are historical, descriptive, and anecdotal, and in each quality 
they are full of attraction.' — Times. 

On the Track of the Mail Coach. 

By Frederick E. Baines, C.B., Author of 'Forty Years at the Post Office,' 
sometime Surveyor-General of Telegiaphs and Assistant Secretary and In- 
spector-General of Mails. Crown 8vo., with Frontispiece, 7s. 6d. 


A History of English Dress. 

By Georgiana Hill. Two vols., demy 8vo., with fourteen Portraits on 
steel, 30s. 

Saxon-Norman Period — Plantagenet Period — The Reign of the Roses 
—Tudor Period— Stuart Period— Thk Hanoverian Period. 

' A monument of careful labour.' — Black and White. 

Women in English Life. 

By Georgiana Hill, Author of 'A History of English Dress,' etc. 
2 vols., demy 8vo., 28s. 

A History of English Horsr-Racing. See page 36. 


( io ) 

<®orks on Jfr-eitch gistorg. 


The French Humourists, from the Twelfth 
to the Nineteenth Century. 

By Sir Walter Besant, M.A., Christ's Coll., Cam., F.S.A. 8vo., 15s. 

Rutebeuf— Guillaume de Lorris— Jean de Meung— Eustache Deschamps— Rabelais— Mon- 
taigne — Rapin — Passerat— Pithon — Regnier — St. Amant — Benserade — Voiture — Scarron — La. 
Fontaine — Boileau— Moliere— Regnard— Gresset— Beaumarchais— Be>anger, and others. 


The Court and Reign of Francis I. 

By Julia Pardoe. 3 vols., demy 8vo., with numerous Portraits, on Steel,. 

and a brief Memoir of the Author, 42s. 
The illustrations comprise :- Francis the First (two portraits by Titian); Queen Eleanor;. 
The Emperor Charles the Fifth (two portraits by Titian) ; Duke of Bourbon and Constable of 
France (by Titian) ; The Chevalier Bayard ; Henry the Eighth (by Holbein) ; Henry the 
Eighth embarking for France ; Ignatius Loyola (by Wierix) ; Marguerite de Valois, Catherine 
de Medieis (two portraits) ; The Duchesse d'Etampes, Diana of Poictiers, The Duke of Alva (by 
Schubert) ; Annas de Montmorency, Constable of France, and Julia Pardoe. The cover of the 
book is from a design by Diana of Boictiers. 

The Court of Louis the Fourteenth. 

By Julia Pardoe. With upwards of Fifty Woodcuts, and numerous Por- 
traits on Steel. 3 vols., demy 8vo., 42s. 

Portraits on Steel. 
Louis XIV. (four portraits). Cardinal Mazarin. Anne of Austria. Madame de Sdvigne\ Louis, 
Prince de Conde\ Ninon de l'Enclos. Madame de Maintenon (three portraits). Mar^chal) 
Turenne. Philippe, Due d'Orleans. Mdlle. de Valliere (two portraits). Madame de 
Montespan. Colbert. 

The Life of Marie de Medieis, 

Consort of Henry IV., and Regent of France during the early years of 
Louis XIII. By Julia Pardoe. 3 vols., demy 8vo., with Portraits and 
Facsimiles, 42s. 

Illustrations on Steel. 
Marie de Medieis (two portraits). Henri de Lorraine, Due de Guise. The Eve of Saint 
Bartholomew. Gabrielle d'Estr^es. Marechal de Biron. Due de Sully. Henri IV. 
Louis XIII. (two portraits). Marshal de Bassompierre. Cardinal de Richelieu (two 
portraits). Anne of Austria. Mardchal de Schomberg. Cardinal Mazarin. George Villiers, 
first Duke of Buckingham. Marquis de Cinq-Mars. 

Works by Lady Jackson. 

The Court of France under Francis I. and Henry II. 

2 vols., large crown 8vo., with Portraits, 24s. 

The Last of the Valois, 

And the Accession of Henry of Navarre, 1559— 1610. 2 vols., large crown- 
8vo., with Portraits, 24s. 

The First of the Bourbons. 

2 vols., large crown 8vo., with Portraits, 24s. 

The Old Regime. 

2 vols., large crown 8vo., with portraits, 24s. 
%* ' Old Paris,' ' French Court and Society,' and 'The Court of the Tuileries ' are at present out 

of print. 


( » ) 

iHorks on Jfraich f)istoru — {Continued). 


The Princesse de Lamballe. 

A Memoir, by Sir Francis Montefiore. In i vol., crown 4to., with 
numerous Portraits and other Illustrations, 12s. 6d. 


lives of the Princes of the House ofConde. 

By the Due d'Aumale. Translated by the Rev. R. Brown-Borthwick. 
2 vols., 8vo., with two fine Portraits, 30s. 


The Correspondence of Anne du Noyer. 

During the Reign of Louis XIV. Now first translated by Florence Layard. 
2 vols., demy 8vo., with Portraits and Notes, 30s. 


The Life of Marie Antoinette. 

By Jeanne Louise Henriette Campan, First Lady in Waiting. With 
Memoir of Madame Campan, by MM. Barriere and Maigne. New and 
Revised Edition, with additional Notes, and Portrait. Crown 8vo. , 6s. 

1 Madame Campan was first Woman of the Bedchamber to Marie Antoinette, and escaped 
almost by a miracle through the Reign of Terror. She died last year, and in her bureau were 
found most curious and authentic memoirs of her life during her service about the Queen. We 
have suspended the issue of this review to read them, and have read them with delight.' — 
Quarterly Review (1822). 


The Court and Family of Napoleon. 

By the Duchesse D'Abrantes (Laure Junot). A New and Revised Edition, 
with Additional Notes, and an Explanatory List of the Titles of the Persons 
mentioned in the Work. 4 vols., crown 8vo., price 36s. 

List of Illustrations. 

Vol. I. 
Andoche Junot, Duke of Abrantes. 
Charles Bonaparte, Father of Napoleon. 
The Princesse de Lamballe. 
Joseph Bonaparte, King of Naples and of 

Marie Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese. 
Eugene Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy. 

Vol. II. 
Napoleon Bonaparte. 
Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. 
General Moreau. 

Eliza Bonaparte, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. 
Caroline Bonaparte, Queen of Naples. 
Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Canino. 

Vol. III. 
The Empress Josephine. 

Josephine Beauharnais (daughter of the Vice- 
roy of Italy), afterwards Crown Princess of 
Madame Mere. 
Madame Campan. 
Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland. 
Louisa, Queen of Prussia. 

Vol. IV. 
Maria Louisa, Empress of France. 
Cardinal Fesch, Archbishop of Lyons. 
Napoleon II. (The King of Rome.) 
Joachim Murat, King of Naples. 
Duroc, Duke of Friuli. 
Prince Metternich. 

' These Memoirs furnish an admirable view— admirable because to the life— of the interior 
of Napoleon's Court. Nowhere do we get a nearer or more intelligible view of Napoleon as a 
man.' — Spectator (1832). 

' The best account of the early career of Napoleon yet given to the world.'— Literary Gazette 


( « ) 

OrhS OVi, JftettCh ^iztOKV — (Continued). 


The History of the French Revolution. 

By Adolphe Thiers. Translated by Frederick Shoberl. With Fifty 
Engravings and Portraits, on steel, of the most eminent Personages engaged 
in the Revolution, many engraved by W. Greatbach. A New and Revised 
Edition in 5 vols., demy 8vo., 45s. 

List of Plates 

I. The Attack on the Bastile. 

Portrait of the Due d'Orteans. 

Portrait of Miraheau. 

Portrait of Lafayette. 

Orgies of the Gardes du Corps. 

Portrait of Marie Antoinette. 

The King's Return from Varennes. 

Portrait of Marat. 

The Mob at the Tuileries. 

Attack on the Tuileries. 
II. Murder of the Princesse de Lamballe. 

Portrait of the Princesse de Lamballe. 

Portrait of Madame Roland. 

Louis XVI. at the Convention. 

Farewell of Louis XVI. to his Family. 

Portrait of Louis XVI. 

Portrait of Dumouriez. 

Triumph of Marat. 

Portrait of Larochejaquelin. 
III. Assassination of Marat. 

Portrait of Charlotte Corday. 

Portrait of Camille Desmoulins. 

Condemnation of Marie Antoinette. 

Portrait of Bailly (Mayor of Paris). 

Trial of Danton, Camille Desmoulins, etc. 

in each Volume. 
III. Portrait of Danton. 

Portrait of Madame Elizabeth. 
Carrier at Nantes. 
Portrait of Robespierre. 
IV. Last Victims of the Reign of Terror. 
Portrait of Charette. 
Death of the Deputy Feraud. 
Death of Romme, Goujon, Duquesnoi, etc. 
Portrait of Louis XVII. 
The 13th Vend^miaire (Oct. 5, 1795). 
Portrait of Lazare Carnot. 
Portrait of Junot. 
Portrait of Bernadotte. 
Portrait of Massena. 
V. Summoning to Execution. 
Portrait ot Pichegru. 
Portrait of Moreau. 
Portrait of Hoche. 
Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte. 
The 18th Brumaire (November 10th, 1799). 
Portrait of Sieyes. 
Portrait of Barras. 
Portrait of Fouche. 
Portrait of Murat. 
Portrait of Adolphe Thiers. 


Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

By Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, his private Secretary. 
Edited, with Preface, Supplementary Chapters, and Notes, by Colonel R. W. 
Phipps, late Royal Artillery. 4 vols., crown 8vo., with Illustrations, 36s. 
List of Portraits. 
Napoleon I. (three). Letitia Ramolino. Josephine (two). Prince Eugene. Kleber. Lannes 
Talleyrand. Duroc. Murat. Desaix. Moreau. Hortense. Due d'Enghien. Pichegru. 
Ney (two). Caulaincourt. Davoust. Junot. Soult. Marie Louise (two). Lasalle. 
Massena. Macdonald. Suchet. Wellington. Blucher. Gouvion St. Cyr. The King 
of Rome. Bessieres. 


See page 4. 


Napoleon at St. Helena. 

By Barry E. O'Meara, Body-Surgeon to the Emperor. A New Edition, 
with Introduction, copious Notes, and other Additions, and with several 
Coloured Plates, Portraits and Woodcuts. 2 vols., demy 8vo., 30s. 



See page 4. 


( 13 ) 

Jtmraatu Dxstorg. 


A History of the Discoveries of America 

down to the year 1525. By Arthur James Weise, M.A. Large demy 
8vo., with numerous Maps reproduced in facsimile from the originals, 7s. 6d. 


The History of the American Civil War. 

By H. C. Fletcher, Scots Fusilier Guards. 3 vols., 8vo., separately, 18s. each. 

The Secret Service of the Confederate 
States in Europe. 

By James D. Bulloch, late Confederate Navy. 2 vols., demy 8vo., 21s. 
See Colonel Raikes's History, described on p. 6. 


Memoirs of Celebrated Etonians. 

By John Heneage Jesse. 2 vols., demy 8vo., 28s. 


Seven Years at Eton, 

1857-1864. Third Edition. Crown 8vo., 6s. 


Eton in the Forties. 

By an old Colleger, Arthur Duke Coleridge. With Illustrations. 
Crown 8vo., 6s. [Reprinting. 

By the late MR. HUGHES-HUGHES. 

The Register of Tonbridge School, 

Edited by the late W. O. Hughes-Hughes, M.A. Medium, 6s. ; large 
paper, 9s. 

By Mr. Fitzgerald. 

Stonyhurst Memories; or, Six Years at 

By Percy Fitzgerald, M.A., F.S.A. Crown 8vo., 6s. 

Oxford Memories. 

By the Rev. James Pycroft, B.A. 2 vols., demy 8vo., 24s. 


( 14 ) 

f) olitic&l § rographp. 


The Autobiography of Prince Metternieh. 

Translated by Robina Napier and Gerard W. Smith. Vols. I. and II., 
1773-1815, demy 8vo., with Portrait and two Facsimiles, 36s. Vols. III. and 
IV., 1816-1829, demy 8vo., 36s. Vol. V., 1830-1835, demy 8vo., 18s. 
Edited by M. PALLAIN. 

Prince Talleyrand and Louis XVIII. 

Correspondence during the Congress of Vienna. 2 vols., demy 8vo., 24s. 

The Life of Lord Carteret (afterwards 
Earl Granville), 1690-1763. 

By Archibald Ballantyne. Demy 8vo., 16s. 

Memoir of Earl Spencer [Lord Althorp). 

By the late Sir Denis Lk Marchant, Bart. Demy 8vo., 16s. 

Lord Althorp. 

By Ernest Myers. Small crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. 

Edited by MR. LE STRANGE. 

The Princess Lieven and Earl Grey. 

Their Correspondence, translated and edited by Guy Le Strange. Vols. I. 
and II., demy 8vo., with Portraits, 30s. Vol. III., demy 8vo., 15s. 


A Diary kept while in Office. 

By Edward, Second Earl of Ellenborough. Two vols., demy 8vo., 30s. 

Lord Ellenborough' s Administration in 

Containing his Letters to Her Majesty the Queen, and Letters to and from 
the Duke of Wellington. Demy8vo., 18s. 

Edited by LADY JACKSON. 

Diaries and Letters of Sir G. Jackson, 

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The BATH ARCHIVES. A further Selection from the Letters and Diaries of 
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Political Letters and Speeches of the late 
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Demy 8vo., with Portraits. 7s. 6d. 


( i5 ) 

Jtolitfcal Siogntphj) — {Continued). 

Edited by MR. MALLOCK. 

Letters and Memoirs of the Twelfth Duke 
of Somerset. 

With Selections from his Diaries. Edited by William H. Mallock and 
Lady Guendolen Ramsden. Demy8vo., 16s. 

By the late MR. W. M. TORRENS. 

Twenty Years in Parliament. 

By William McCullagh Torrens, Author of 'The Life of Lord Mel- 
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The 12s. edition contains additional matter and alterations. 

By the late MR. SKENE. 

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By James Henry Skene, Author of ' Frontier Lands of Christian and 
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Selections from Official Writings of the 
Rt. Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone. 

Edited, with a Memoir, by Professor G. W. Forrest. Demy 8vo., 2ls. 
Edited by MISS FORSYTH. 

Autobiography and Reminiscences of 
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Edited by his Daughter, Ethel Forsyth. Demy 8vo., with Portrait on 
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The Lives of Statesmen : 

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Recollections of My Life. 

By the late Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. 3 vols., post 8vo., 31s. 6d. 

( i6 ) 

i^gal $i0§raphg. 


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By the Very Rev. W. R. W. Stephens, F.S. A., Dean of Winchester, Author 
of 'The Life and Letters of Dean Hook,' etc. Crown Svo., with two 
Portraits, 21s. 


The Early Life of Sir William Maule. 

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The Life of Richard, Baron Westbury, 

Lord High Chancellor of England. By Thomas Arthur Nash, Barrister- 
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Mr. Serjeant Ballantines Experiences. 

Crown 8vo., paper cover, is., cloth, is. 6d. 

[A fifteenth edition will shortly be printed. 

From the Old World to the New. 

Being some Experiences of a Recent Visit to America, including a Trip to 
the Mormon Country. By Mr. Serjeant Ballantine, Author of « Some 
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Some Professional Recollections. 

By a Former Member of the Council of the Incorporated Law Society. 
Crown 8vo., 9s. 
%* This work includes some account of the singular career of the Carron 


The Still Life of the Middle Temple, 

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humour. His fund of anecdote seems to be inexhaustible.' — Times. 


( 17 ) 

dleriral § tographt). 


Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 

From St. Augustine to Juxon. By the Very Rev. Walter Farquhar 
Hook, D.D., Dean of Chichester. Demy 8vo., the volumes sold separately 
as follows :— Vol. L, 15s. ; Vol. II.. 15s. ; Vol. V., 15s. ; Vols. VI. and VII., 
30s. ; Vol. VIII., 15s. ; Vol. X., 15s. ; Vol. XL, 15s. ; Vol. XII., 15s. 

Vol. I. Anglo-Saxon Period, 597-1070. — Augustine, Laurentius, Melitus, 
Justus, Honorius, Deusdedit, Theodorus, Brihtwald, Tatwine, Nothelm, Cuthbert, 
Bregwin, Jaenbert, Ethelhard, Wulfred, Feologild, Coelonoth, Ethelred, Pleg- 
mund, Athelm, Wulfhelm, Odo, Dunstan, Ethelgar, Siric, Elfric, Elphege, 
Limig, Ethelnoth, Eadsige, Robert, Stigand. 

Vol. II. Anglo-Norman Period, 1070-1229. — Lanfranc, Anselm, Ralph of 
Escures, William of Corbeuil, Theobald, Thomas a Becket, Richard the Norman, 
Baldwin, Reginald Fitzjocelin, Hubert Walter, Stephen Langton. 

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Warham, Thomas Cranmer (in part). 

Vol. VII. Same Period. — Thomas Cranmer (conclusion). 

Vol. VIII. Same Period, 1 556-1 558.— Reginald, Cardinal Pole. 

Vol. IX. Same Period, 1558-1575. — Matthew Parker. [Reprinting. 

Vol. X. Same Period, 1575-1633. — Edmund Grindal, John Whitgift, 
Richard Bancroft, George Abbott. 

Vol. XL Same Period, 1633-1663. — William Laud, William Juxon. 

Vol. XII. The Index. 

'The most impartial, the most instructive, and the most interesting of histories.' — Athenceum. 


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Memories of Father Healy, 

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( i8 ) 

CUrkal ^Xagrapkg {Continued). 


Conversations of Dr. Dolling er. 

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Bishop ThirlwalVs Letters to a Friend. 

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Life in the Cloister, at Court, and in Exile. 

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letter* Eiib ^iflgrapltu*. 


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By MR. RAE. 

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( 19) 

getters attb biographies — {Continued). 


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( 20 ) 

^ttttXB atlb § lOgr&phkS— (Continued). 
By the Hon. C. K. TUCKERMAN. 

Personal Recollections of Notable People 
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Red-Letter Days of My Life 

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Alaric Watts. 

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The Life of Theodore Edward Hook. 

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( 21 ) 

lottos anb biographies — {Continued), 


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( 22 ) 

$5 iograplws nf flainters mxb <Satlptor0. 


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( 2 3 ) 

Jftusic ant) Science, ztt. 

Translated by MR. COLERIDGE. 

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Stray Records ; 

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( 24) 

JUt iillb §cient£, ttt— {Continued). 


The Masterpieces of Sir Robert Strange. 

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( 2 5 ) 

'She gruma. 


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Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft 

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Demy 8vo., 96 pp., 5s. 


(26 , 

ftodrg anb the grama. 


The Ingoldsby Legends. 

The Only Complete Editions. 
Illustrated by Cruikshank, Leech, Tenniel, Du Maurier, and Doyle. 

' Successful humourists who follow such great masters as Rabelais are generally carried in 
advance of " the ruck" by some special gift. As Hook owed his great social reputation to un- 
equalled powers of improvisation, so "Thomas Ingoldsby" was borne forward to fame and popu- 
larity by his unrivalled command of rhyme. All the wit, humour, and sparkle of the legends 
would have gone for comparatively little had it not been for the vehicle they were entrusted to. 
The verse is a thing per se, and as Ingoldsby followed no model, so he has had no true 
successor. He has had imitators ; but none of them have gone beyond imitation. How genuine 
is the humour of the Legends is proved by the fact that although many are as freely sprinkled with 
hits at contemporary history and scandal as a Christmas pantomime, yet they read as pleasantly 
to-day as ever they did. It was an idea worthy of De Foe, that of evoking the Ingoldsbys, their 
family, pedigree, property, mansion, and everything that was theirs, that he might weave a series 
of vraiseviiladle family stories out of their archives. It was realistic as Balzac, the borrowing the 
very name of his own place, Tappington, and painting from the old Kentish farm. Yet when he went 
abroad, when he pillaged the solemn convent lore for his grotesque parodies, he was scarcely less 
successful. There are few we prefer to St. Dunstan St. Medard, St. Gengulphus, and, above 
all, the " Jackdaw of Rheims." '—Pall Mall Gazette. 

A New Annotated Edition, edited, with Notes, by Mrs. Edward A. 
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( 2 7 ) 

Itoeirg anb the grama — (continued). 

By the REV. R. H. BARHAM. 

The Ingoldsby Lyrics. 

By the Rev. Richard Harris Barham, Author of • The Ingoldsby Legends.' 
Edited by his Son, the Rev. R. H. D. Barham. Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. 


The Bentley Ballads, 

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Edited by PERCY COTTON. 

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Poetical Works of Frances Anne Kemble. 

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A Life's History, 

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( 28 ) 

ftorirj) mxb the grama — (continued). 

Edited by MR. ST. JOHN RAIKES. 

Selected Poems, Translations, and Occa- 
sional Pieces 

Of the late Right Hon. Henry Cecil Raikes, formerly Member for the 
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